Keizer looks good at 40

Hundreds of people attended Keizer’s 40th birthday celebration at the civic center on Saturday, June 17. 

The night before, many attended the 1980s-themed dance inside the community center, with a disc jockey, a birthday cake and celebratory cupcakes. 

Attendees on Saturday had their choice of activities inside the community center and outside, throughout the civic center campus. 

Ten former mayors and city councilors gathered to say happy birthday as part of the opening ceremony. Joining Mayor Cathy Clark and councilors Dan Kohler, Laura Reid and Shaney Starr were former Mayor Lore Christopher and former councilors Amy Ryan Courser, Jim Taylor, Bruce Anderson, Jacque Moir and Kim Freeman. 

Live entertainment was available in the gazebo in Chalmers Jones Park and inside the community center. A variety of musical acts played both venues, including a performance by the Keizer Community Band. 

Children could create their best artwork with a sidewalk chalk art contest. Jodie Smalley awed attendees on her six-foot stilts, dancing to the music and posing for photos. 

The 100-foot ladder truck from the Keizer Fire District was used for the egg drop contest. First and second prizes were awarded to a girl and a boy. Third place honors were awarded to Colleen Busch, a Keizer Fire Board director. 

One of the highlights of the day was the dedication of Rosalie’s Cows, four whimsical art cows, created by Oregon artist Tara Choate, that will be installed in the Chemawa Road- Verda Lane round-about this month. The art is named in honor of Rosalie Herber, who lived on the dairy farm on Verda Lane, above Claggett Creek. 

Descendents of Rosalie Herber were on hand for the dedication—children, grand-and great-grand children. 

Vendor booths ringed the park on the campus including Josh Naverette’s NK Forge and Metalworks, which was popular with the younger crowd. 

Tenants of the Keizer Cultural Center were part of the festivities. The Keizer Community Library hosted a scavenger hunt, artists at the Keizer Art Association demonstrated techniques, while Keizer Homegrown Theatre hosted karaoke on its stage. 

Voters approved Keizer’s incorporation in November 1982 but it wasn’t until 1983 that the first city council was installed.