This summer the nation seems to be going crazy—mass murders, killing of cops, shootings of African-Americans that has intensifed the battle between Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. It makes a Keizerite want to turn off the news and revel in life here in our little corner of the world.

We should not bury out heads and tell the world to go away—it won’t. The best antidote to a world gone crazy is to enjoy what our community has to offer and the coming weeks will have plenty of offerings for the most cynical.

At this writing there are two of the four scheduled performances remaining of Keizer Homegrown Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night (one the Bard’s more accessible plays). The free show starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre at Keizer Rapids Park. Filled with pirates, the show is a good summertime diversion for any age.

Other free events coming up include city-sponsored concerts at the amphitheatre scheduled for six dates in August plus the final concert featuring JFK in September.

For those whose artistic tastes run more toward paintings and the like, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art on State St. in Salem has free admission every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The eighth annual Canterbury Renaissance Faire is being held this week and next weekend near Silverton. This event is a step back about 400 years with costumed players enacting life during the Renaissance including jousts.

Finishing up this weekend is the Bite and Brew of Salem at Riverfront Park.

Opening this week and playing through August 28 is The Wizard of Oz, the stage production presented b Enlightened Theatrics at the Historic Grand Theatre in downtown Salem. The production company aims to build itself into an influential regional theatre; see this show and you can say “I knew them when…”

Antique Powerland on Brooklake Road north of Keizer stages its annual Great Oregon Steam-up that runs the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August. This event is good for families and kids (who never seem to tire of seeing tractors and threshers and all the hundreds of other attractions and activities.

Aside from the man-made events there are beaches, mountains and rivers to visit to take one’s mind off real life from the national and international news.

We all need distractions when things seem unsettled. These certainly fit that bill. When the world doesn’t make sense go crazy at one of the many events our region has to offer this summer.

  —LAZ