Parade is Saturday

KEIZERTIMES/File

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Months of planning on the part of volunteers with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce come to fruition this weekend with the annual Keizer Iris Festival.

The festival brings a slew of live music, numerous smaller-scale events and, of course, the Valey Credit Service Iris Festival Parade. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, the parade travels from Lockhaven Drive North south on River Road to Glynbrook Drive North.

“We have about 80 entries right now and I expect about 10 more to roll in by the end of the week,” said Cari Buchholz, co-chair of the parade with Steve Pfaff.

Buchholz said many of the entries are well-known to regular parade spectators, but there are a few notable new additions.

The Medford High School band is traveling all the way up Interstate 5 to take part in the parade. The band director is a McNary alum.

Other bands include the McNary High School band alongside players from Claggett Creek and Whiteaker middle schools, the Clackamas High School band, and The Beat Goes On, an all-adult band out of Portland.

Other new entries include the 2017 International Junior Miss Queen of the Pacific Northwest and the Native American Cross-Cultural Association.

Buchholz was just as excited about the things outside of her control this year.

“Right now, the forecast is for good weather. I’m very happy that it’s going to be sunny,” she said.

Buchholz also coordinates the Festival Of Lights Parade for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, and said that while the parades tend to draw different types of participants, there is an enthusiasm that unites them all.

“They are all there for the community and create a great parade for kids and community,” Buchholz said.

Above all, Buchholz asked for patience on the part of drivers in the area of River Road Saturday morning. Even after the parade is on its way down River Road, some drivers attempts to traverse Lockhaven Drive while volunteers are still cleaning up the area after sending the parade on it’s way.

“CERT and Keizer police do a great job of supporting us and they are adding extra people in that area while we clean up,” she said.

Aside from the parade, the Iris Festival features a number of associated events:

• Live music at the Keizerfest tent from 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

• The Mayor’s Pet Parade at 9 .m. in the Creekside Shopping Center.

• A poker run for motorcycle enthusiasts.

• The Keizer Community Library’s spring book sale at the Keizer Civic Center.

• A Keizer Little League baseball and softball tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

For a full list of events and times, check out the Keizertimes’ Iris Festival Guide or visit, www.irisfestival.com.

Road closures

Lockhaven Drive North will be closed at 6 a.m. to all traffic between River Road North and McClure Street Norht to establish the parade staging area. Those needing to get to the staging area must take Chemawa Road North to Windsor Island Road North then proceed eastbound on Lockhaven Drive to their designated staging points.

River Road North will be closed to all north and southbound traffic starting at 9 a.m. from Plymouth Drive Northeast to Lockhaven Drive North.  Northbound River Road traffic from Salem will be diverted to Cherry Avenue Northeast via Plymouth Drive Northeast.

Prior to the parade and other events beginning, traffic will be allowed to periodically cross River Road at Chemawa Roadd.  Vehicles will not be allowed to travel north or south on River Road during this time.

It is expected that River Road will begin to re-open around 12.30 p.m.