The Salem Electric float was awarded the Best Use of Light award at the 2019 Holiday Parade (File).

 After a two-year hiatus, the Keizer Holiday Lights Parade sponsored by Cascade Floors makes its grand return to River Road N. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

“I am absolutely through the roof. It is going to be the best parade ever. We really want to make this special for everyone,” said Corri Falardeau, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. 

The theme of this year’s parade is Songs of Christmas, which was chosen by Keizertimes publisher Lyndon Zaitz. 

“We are encouraging folks to sing some of their favorite carols and decorate to match that theme. A lot of ideas can come out of each song. It is going to be a great night of singing and caroling,” Falardeau said. 

The Grand Marshal for the parade will be Jose Dominguez, the pastor at La Luz Del Valle Church in Keizer. Dominguez has been a fixture in the Keizer community for many years and was one of the founders of the Latino Action Committee — which has provided scholarships for Latino students at McNary High School since 2018.

“He is someone that has stepped up and provided a lot of support for our community. We wanted to highlight that,” Falardeau said. 

There have been 20 entries in the parade as of early November, but Chamber staff are planning to have anywhere from 50 to 100 floats by the time Dec. 11 rolls around, including bands and first responders.

School bands from McNary, McKay, South Salem and Sprague high school will be part of the procession.

There will be multiple locations along River Rd. for spectators to stop for coffee, hot chocolate and cookies (St. Edwards Catholic Church, Willamette Valley Bank, O’Reilly’s, Columbia Bank, 911 Supply and Copy Cats). Several of the locations will also feature food trucks. 

Prices for entry into the parade are the same as those for the Iris Festival parade: $35 for non-profits, civic organizations, military organizations and per car for auto clubs; $125 for a commercial entry from Chamber members and political groups/candidates; and $175 for non-member commercial entries. Entry forms must be received at the Keizer Chamber office, 4118 River Road N. Awards will be given for most festive, best use of lights, best choreography, best sound, best theme, Mayor’s choice and honorable mention. Entry forms are available online at keizerchamber.com.

Staging for the parade begins at 3:30 p.m. on Lockhaven Drive North between McClure Street North and River Road. The parade will start at the intersection of Lockhaven and River Road and travel south ending at Glynbrook Street North. 

River Road will close at 6 p.m. to make way for the Chamber’s annual Jingle Dash, a 5K fun run, which begins at 6:15 p.m. The run will begin at the Chamber of Commerce’s new office, 4118 River Road North. Registration can be completed on the Chamber website. 

Run participants are encouraged to dress up and compete for the best costume award. Cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee will be waiting at the finish line. 

Call the Keizer Chamber, 503-393-9111, for more information.