Tunes, pumpkin chuckin’ and more at new festival

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A new festival will celebrate two centuries of local history.

It’s said that 200 years ago, traders from the Pacific Fur Company traveled up the Willamette River on an exploration trip.

Having journeyed as far as the McKenzie River, 15 men led by William Wallace went back to set up a fur trading post on the upper portion of the river. Many believe that post was in present-day Keizer, where Wallace House Park bears the explorer’s name. (The park was previously known as River’s Edge Park.)

The post was abandoned shortly thereafter, when word of the War of 1812 reached the west and trading ground to a halt.

William Wallace Days on Oct. 12 and 13 at Keizer Rapids Park aims to recapture the spirit of pioneer days, with events including a pumpkin fling and period clothing to go along with live music and golf at McNary Golf Course.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event, which will also include Highland games and celebrate local Scotch-Irish traditions. A maze by Bauman Farms is tentatively scheduled.

“If folks want to come out that have particular heritage of their different clans, they can certainly dress the part,” Dieker said.

It will also include bagpipers and on-stage entertainment that will be revealed soon. Gilgamesh Brewing is heading up a Brewfest.

“It’s part of our plans to put on more events and promote our fine town,” Dieker said.

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