There will be no holiday light parade this December.
Danielle Bethell, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, made the announcement at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 2.
“COVID-19 has created a bunch of challenges and our small town is no exception to that,” Bethell said. “My hope is that next year’s parade will be bigger and better than ever.”
In normal times, the parade lights up River Road North the second Saturday of each December, but it wasn’t the only toll the pandemic extracted from the Chamber usual holiday line-up. Both the Turkey Dash and Jingle Dash runs have been canceled as well.
The one community event that will continue is the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree at Walery Plaza on River Road. Santa will be there, children will be selected to help the Bearded One turn on the lights, but the general public will be asked to watch from home or online.
The council approved use of funds that would traditionally be used to televise the parade to televise the tree lighting instead.
Giving Basket trees go up
Beginning Monday, Nov. 9, trees for the Keizer Network of Women’s Giving Basket program will be on display at a number of local retailers.
Tags on the trees include the holiday wish lists of local children, identified through their schools. Those who take a tag are asked to return the items listed, unwrapped, to the location the tag was taken from.
Trees will be located at: the Human Bean, St. Edward Catholic Church, Columbia Bank, Los Dos Hermanos, Willamette Valley Bank, Courthouse Club Fitness, Physiq Fitness, Keizer Liquor Store, Copy Cats Keizer, NW Dental Arts, Carlisle & Smith, Bolt, Celtic Storage, The Chicken Shack, Keizer Church of Christ, Mommy & Maddi’s, Luepitz Contractors and Grove, Mueller and Swank.
Volunteers will assemble to sort through donated food items on Wednesday, Dec. 9, and wrap the gift on Thursday, Dec. 10.
Instead of an annual gala to support the event, the Keizer Chamber held an online auction to benefit the giving basket program, but about $48,000 is still needed to cover the costs Chamber officials are expecting.
“We are expecting to support about 250 families this year,” Bethell said.