Mother’s Day at Keizer & Salem, Oregon Iris Festival & Iris Gardens

Keizer & Salem, Oregon Iris Festival & Iris Gardens – Colorful Trips for Mother’s Day or Vacations in May

Are you looking for a different sure-to-please destination for Mother’s Day? Or family friendly vacation activities near Salem, Oregon? The Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, and Keizer Station Iris Festival, are perfect choices!

Located just north of Salem, Oregon, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens are said to be the nation’s largest retail grower of these majestic flowers. For over 75 years the Schreiner family has dedicated itself to growing and breeding its award-winning blossoms, the stately bearded iris.

The month of May and first part of June is blooming season at Schreiner’s, and they provide ten free viewing acres in their display garden for the public. The view in the Gardens is breathtaking. As you stroll among row after row of vividly bright solid color and multi-hued blooms, you’ll marvel at the incredible variety of the lovely flowers. Thousands of irises proudly display their uniqueness in every color from velvety purples to palest peach; sunny golds; pure white to midnight blues.

May is the perfect time to visit Schreiner’s. The irises are bursting into bloom over their 200 acres in nearby fields. You may bring home freshly cut flowers or iris rhizomes and simple instructions for their cultivation. Or purchase Schreiner’s extensive mail-order catalog, featuring 300 dwarf – tall iris varieties in full color.

This year, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th, the Gardens are offering each visiting Mom a free cut iris stem. Picnic tables are available in the display gardens for enjoying the spring sunshine and a leisurely lunch. You can also take home a cut flower bouquet for $6.00 per dozen, or browse the gift shop’s treasures of garden accessories and handcrafted artwork.

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens are open from 8:00 am to dusk during May and the first week of June. They are located at 3625 Quinaby Road NE, Salem, Oregon. You may reach them from I-5 north of Salem on Chemawa exit 260, or south from Portland on I-5 via Brooks exit 263. Watch for signs advertising the Gardens. You may also phone them at 1-800-525-2367.

If you are planning a May vacation to or near Oregon’s capitol city, Salem, the Iris Festival is an event you won’t want to miss. This annual event is held in Salem’s adjoining community of Keizer, and attracts over 30,000 visitors annually.

The main festival weekend will be May 19 – 21, 2006, but activities actually begin on May 18th. Highlight of the Iris Festival is the Bank of the Cascades Iris Festival Parade, held on Saturday, which winds down Keizer’s River Road. This year’s theme is “Rollin’ on the River”, and the iris theme flower is “Rippling”, a navy blue beauty with petals said to have a bouncy lilt similar to Oregon rivers’ rolling rapids.

Other major festivities are held at the Main Stage location in the Iris Festival Big Tent on north River Road. A wide variety of live lyrics and danceable music will run from Thursday to Sunday and feature polka, rock, country, gospel blue grass music, and other entertainment.

Additional fun activities of the Festival will include a Kick-off Party & BBQ Chicken Dinner, Parrot Head Music & Cheeseburger Party, Christian Jamboree & Pancake Breakfast, Iris and the Artist Art Show, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Keizer Junior Miss Program, Skyline Ford Iris Golf Tournament, Funtastic Carnival, Parade Day Breakfast, West Coast Bank Mayor’s Kids & Pets One Mile Walk, Iris Idol Karaoke Showcase, Iris Festival Flower Show, A Quilters’ Faire, and more.

The Keizer Station Iris Festival also has a Keizer Firefighters Mother’s Day Breakfast scheduled, which would make a lovely beginning to a holiday day trip to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Contact the Keizer, Oregon Chamber of Commerce for more information on the Festival.

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