Parade takes center stage at KeizerFEST

The McNary honor society rides in a float in the 2019 KeizerFEST parade (File).

The Valley Credit Service KeizerFEST parade will be hitting the streets on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m. 

The parade will travel south on River Road from Lockhaven to Glynbrook St. — the parade will disband after Burger King at Glynbrook.

All floats and groups gather in northern Keizer with their best outfits, themed trailers and vehicles to march or stroll down River Road.  

The theme to this years parade is Dancin’ in the Streets and the 2021 Iris is named Bitty Beauty.

Staging begins at 7:30 a.m. and River Road will close at 9 a.m. — through traffic will be rerouted on side streets between south Keizer and north Keizer. Float judging will occur at 8:30 a.m for all entries.

There will be three divisions judges will evaluate (vehicles, floats/groups and animals). 

Vehicles will be judged in three categories: Antique (Non-Modified built prior to 1955) Classic (Non-Modified built 1955 or newer) and Custom (Modified).

Floats and groups will be competing for the Mayor’s Trophy, Best Use of Theme, Iris Award Spirit Award, Most Unique and Most Humorous.

There will also be Best Mounted Group, Best Rodeo Court, Best Novelty Group and Best Rodeo Queen in the animal division. 

The 10 principals of the Keizer elementary and secondary schools were named Grand Marshals of the parade for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• Erik Jespersen

(McNary High School)

• Suzanne Leonard

(Whiteaker Middle School)

• Aaron Persons

(Claggett Creek Middle School)

• Lizi Aguilar-Nelson

(Keizer Elementary School)

• Karl Paulson (retired)

and Shamika Cleveland

(Forest Ridge Elementary School)

• Jesse Leonard

(Kennedy Elementary School)

• Magda Romero

and new principal Andy Kronser

(Cummings Elementary School)

• Tom Charboneau

(Gubser Elementary School)

• Stacey Lund

(Weddle Elementary School)

• Greg Watson

(Clear Lake Elementary)

“When things shifted in a way that nobody could have expected, our principals took the reins and made things happen. They went above and beyond to provide for our kids,” said Keizer Chamber Director Corri Falardeau.

There are several rules all parade participants must abide by, one of them being candy is not allowed to be thrown under any circumstance. 

Parking will be available at the Eagles Lodge and along side streets. Parking will also be available on Cherry Ave., south of the festival grounds, to Alder Drive. There will also be parking available at Northwest Dental Arts & Sleep Therapy.

RV parking will be available at the Keizer Elks Lodge for Elks members. 

The north end of River Rd. will gradually open as the end of the parade continues south.