Local News -Bridge Interpretive Center; Old Town Christmas; Community Thanksgiving

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Local News

November 26, 2012

Bridge Interpretive Center Groundbreaking Set

Conceptual drawing of the Siuslaw Bridge Interpretive Center. (City of Florence)

It’s been about a decade in the conceptual and planning stages.  By later this week, the Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center will be in the actual construction process.

Officials will break ground Thursday morning at nine AM on the patch of vacant land between Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters and the Waterfront Depot Restaurant.

The interpretive center won’t be an actual building, it will incorporate a couple paths and several interpretive signs… and plenty of opportunity for visitors to enjoy the scenic Siuslaw River, the Highway 101 Bridge and the forested hills across the river.

A stormwater demonstration project will make up part of the center; showing how runoff from streets can be filtered naturally before being allowed to drain into the river.

The bulk of the cost of the facility will be paid for by state and federal transportation dollars.  The Florence Urban Renewal Agency funded the purchase of the property itself… about $90-thousand.

Christmas Festival

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a grand entry this coming Saturday afternoon and the annual Christmas Festival in Historic Old Town Florence will officially get underway.  This year, rather than one concentrated weekend of activities, Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cal Applebee says events will be spread over the entire holiday season.

This weekend’s kickoff will feature the Clauses arriving at Gazebo Park in Old Town at 4:30 Saturday where they’ll preside over the traditional Christmas Tree Lighting… and where they’ll hear requests from kids.  Applebee says some of the upcoming weekends will feature things like a cookie tasting, Christmas Wreathes and even a Candy Cane Treasure Hunt.

Community thanksgiving

Last week’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner fed 340 people that afternoon… and promises to feed even more over the coming weeks.  That’s because organizers of the event accepted $996 in cash donations and 214 pounds of non-perishable food that will go to Florence Food Share.  So many volunteers wanted to help the Florence Kiwanis Club cook, serve and cleanup, some had to be turned away.  The donations weren’t the main purpose of the day, but are a welcome result… the main reason for the event, say Kiwanians, is to provide a place for any and all to gather together and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday meal.