Catch the Wave – 109th Rhododendron Festival

PrintFlorence Icon to Marshal Sunday’s Parade

Catch the Wave is the theme of the 109th annual Rhododendron Festival… and it’s somehow fitting that the founder of “Wave Beachgrass Nursery” will be honored Sunday during the Grand Floral Parade.

Wilbur Ternyik spent the better part of the last 60-years living in Florence… he served as Mayor, City Councilor and Port of Siuslaw Commissioner for more than half of that time.

Along the way, Ternyik also became an internationally recognized expert on soil stabilization and wetlands protection.

Ternyik came to Florence after World War II, working for the Soil and Water Conservation Service planting beach grass along the beach and across the sand dunes.  He eventually opened Wave Beachgrass Nursery and through that, travelled around the world consulting on soil stabilization projects.  He also became a recognized expert on wetlands.

He, along with his wife of 53 years, Joyce, will ride at the head of Sunday’s Grand Floral Parade.  The  parade begins Sunday at noon… it travels down Highway 101 from 27th street to the bridge, then down the hill to Bay Street and through Old Town.

Rhody show could be smaller than usual

One signature event of the Rhododendron Festival is the American Rhododendron Society flower show.  The president of the Florence chapter is Mike Bones.  He says this year’s show may have fewer entries than in the past because most of the Rhodies are done blooming.

Mike Bones – “About a month early this year.  The flowers are really…. There’s not many left!”

The show is open to anyone who wants to bring a truss of flowers… and there is no entry fee.

Mike Bones – “We want everybody to bring in a rhododendron sometime between 7:00 in the morning and 9:00.  At 9:00 we shut the doors and start the judging.”

Once they begin judging, the doors at the Florence Events Center are closed until the results are final.

Mike Bones – “Then we want people to come back around one… after one o’clock on Saturday to see what kind of ribbons they picked up and to view the children’s art work.  The elementary school has done another great job this year.”

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know your specific variety.  Several of the club members should be able to identify it for you.  The show is open to the public from one to five Saturday, then again Sunday from ten a.m. until five.

Kids activities abound

In addition to the Grand Floral Parade and the Rhody Show there are a number of other events going on this weekend.

For kids, there is always the Davis Carnival on the Boardwalk in Old Town.

The annual Firefighters Junior Parade begins forming at Miller Park Saturday at 11.  At 12 o’clock high, the entries will head north on Oak Street.  The parade will end at the High School.  That’s where members of the Florence Kiwanis Club, along with several other volunteers, will host the annual kids games for youngsters.  It will feature old fashioned games with treats and prizes.  There’s no cost to participate.

For kids of all ages, the annual Show and Shine classic car show presented by the Beachkomber’s Car Club will be at the Grocery Outlet Parking Lot from ten to 2:30… followed at 6:30 by the annual KCST Classic Car Cruise through Old Town.

For complete festival events and details, you can look in this Wednesday’s edition of the Siuslaw News where you’ll find a special ‘pull out’ insert.

Lane County property owners to get tax break

The Lane County Budget Committee approved a measure last this week that will reduce property tax bills.  Three years ago, voters approved a 55-cents-per-thousand levy to fund jail and youth offender services.  County Administrator Steve Mokrohiskey said the reason was simple.

Steve Mokrohiskey – “We have a reserve in the Sheriff’s Office in the levy, in the jail levy fund, that’s been generated over the past 3 years.  A combination of revenues that have come in that have exceeded projection and expenses that have been under projections.  So, it’s a really good problem that we have here, right?  We’ve effectively managed the resources.”

The committee endorsed the reduction of 17-cents per thousand to just 38.

Steve Mokrohiskey – “30-cents of that would go to adult correction jail beds in the Sheriff’s Office.  8-cents would go to fund youth treatment and detention beds.”

The Budget Committee approved it unanimously Thursday night.  The full Board of County Commissioners… all of whom serve on the budget panel… must also vote on it.  That’s expected to be later this month or in early June.

Applebee recognized for efforts

Former Florence Area Chamber of Commerce director Cal Applebee was recognized earlier this month for his efforts at promoting the visitor industry in Lane County.  Applebee retired from the Florence Chamber in February, and also stepped down from his position on the board of Travel Lane County.

He, along with two other retiring board members, Andy Vobora and Glenda Polling, were praised during the organization’s Visitor Industry Celebration May 6th.

Applebee’s retirement from tourism related activities was a brief one.  Within 60 days he accepted the post as the part-time Executive Director of the Oregon Coast Military Museum.