Starting this year, KeizerFEST will now be held in August, prompting speculation and public support for holding the event at Keizer Rapids Park. The Keizer Chamber of Commerce, who stages the event each year and is recommending the location change, sent an informal request to city hall recently for preliminary approval.

City Attorney Shannon Johnson said the chamber had already submitted all the necessary documentation and a formal request would be made to the council as soon as next month, but city staff members have not finished examining the proposal.

“They are looking for at least a preliminary commitment from the council before they do a significant amount of work to the ground out there,” Johnson told council members at the May 3 meeting.

City councilors promptly moved and seconded a motion to approve the chamber’s request.

“Bob got his wish” said Councilor Dan Kohler, prompting laughter in reference to Chamber president Bob Shackleford’s well-known desire to move the event to Keizer Rapids Park.

The proposal has not met with much resistance since it was suggested. Public Works Director Bill Lawyer notified the council in March that the chamber had already contracted work at the park in preparation for the event, including weed control and ground-flattening. He said the field adjacent to Chemawa Rd. would be the event location, between the access road along dog park and up to the Big Toy site.  

The chamber’s plans for the KeizerFEST week of August 8-12 include a comedy show, a cornhole tournament, a car show, a parade, a golf tournament, and much more. A current schedule of events is available on the chamber’s website, keizerchamber.com.