As cold and rain descend upon the Mid-Willamette Valley, a number of holiday-themed celebrations are scheduled.
After two years of COVID-19 closures and limitations, late November and December will include a full schedule of light displays, parades, Santa visits, and markets.
Here are several events commemorating the holiday season:
Salem Holiday Parade
The streets of downtown Salem will host a holiday parade on November 26 for the first time in several years.
The free procession will begin at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Court and Church streets, wind through downtown, and conclude with Santa coming in an antique fire engine and lighting a community tree on the Winslow Boutique building on Court Street.
It is anticipated that there will be Victorian carolers and a visit by Buddy the Elf, as well as window decorating contests for downtown businesses.
The event is being organized by the Salem Main Street Association, which also coordinated the installation of 75,000-holiday lights on downtown trees and lampposts by volunteers.
Jim Vu, president of the association, stated that a recent article and survey published by the Statesman Journal spurred the initiative to decorate the downtown area for the holidays.
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The lights will be up for the duration of the holiday season.
Holiday Lights Parade in Keizer
On December 10, River Road will once again host Keizer’s annual celebration featuring illuminated parade floats and festive music.
The parade, which is free to attend, will feature lighting entries from area businesses, car clubs, marching bands, fire departments, and civic groups under the theme March of the Toys.
The event will take place on River Road North between Lockahaven and Glynbrook from 7 to 9 p.m.
By December 2, all float submissions must be registered.
The Gubser neighborhood in Keizer has gone all out with Christmas decorations and lights for nearly four decades.
The annual Miracle of Christmas lights display will return from December 3 to December 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. each night.
Since 1984, the tradition that began as a lighthearted competition between families has evolved into a community event whose proceeds assist the Marion-Polk Food Share while spreading holiday pleasure.
Donations of non-perishable food items and money are welcomed at the intersection of Lockhaven Drive and 14th Avenue NE.
Enchantment at the Mill
The Willamette Heritage Center transforms its 5-acre property into a winter paradise from December 19 through December 23 with holiday lights, live music, shopping, historical presentations, miniature trains, and children’s activities.
Santa will make an appearance during this year’s five-day festival.