Independence Festivities Planned for Florence

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Local News

Plea goes out for fireworks donations

The annual Florence Fourth of July Fireworks display is just three weeks away and the call has gone out for community support.

Bettina Hannigan – “The Fourth of July event costs the Chamber over $9-thousand to put the event on.  And that’s not really underwritten by any big sponsorship that we have and so we are looking for sponsors in the community.”

Chamber Executive Director Bettina Hannigan says, despite last year’s fog enshrouded show, this year’s event will be fired from roughly the same location at the east end of the Port of Siuslaw RV Park.

Bettina Hannigan – “We cannot launch from the bank so we’re literally having to bring in ten yards of sand and set it up so that they can launch from that and then we’re going to have to remove that, so we’re looking for a sand sponsor.”

The Chamber will also be hosting the traditional watermelon and pie eating contests earlier that afternoon.  Donations can be phoned in or dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Flag Retirement set for Florence

Tuesday is Flag Day and once again, members of the American Legion Post 59 of Florence will host a public Flag Day ceremony to formally retire worn or damaged flags.

This year, the ceremony will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Park, just across Bay Street from where it has traditionally been held.

Bleachers will be set up in the parking lot, and people are being asked to park in the city’s parking lot next door.

Rich Shores, the local post commander said “proper flag etiquette dictates how and when flags are to be retired to show respect for the nation’s symbol.”

The public is encouraged to bring their worn out flags for proper retirement.  They can be dropped off at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue today and through tomorrow morning.  Tuesday’s ceremony begins at four p.m.

Windfest blows into town for Summer

A new series of community events and activities has blown into town for the summer.  It’s called Windfest and is organized and sponsored by the Port of Siuslaw.

Throughout the summer, each Friday and Saturday; as well as some Sundays; a variety of different activities will be held on the boardwalk in Old Town Florence.

This weekend will feature talks by master recycler Paul Rauscher.  A Saturday evening live concert on the boardwalk will feature the JP Trio from six to nine pm.

Holly Jolly Follies under new direction

A Christmas holiday tradition will return later this year under new direction.

The Hollie Jollie Follies started in Florence in 2009 and for seven years Director Pat Sapp presided over more than 100 cast and crew members to put together a variety show that packed the house at the Florence Events Center.

After taking last year off… she admits she didn’t have the – quote – “oomph”… she was thinking of what to do about producing a show this year.

Sapp says she has a tremendous amount of confidence in Melanie Heard and the Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshop to carry on the Holly Jolly tradition.

Heard said the show will allow CROW to enrich their annual performing opportunities for children and adults.

Sapp said she will be right there, in the audience at the FEC the first weekend in December.

Two summer classes focus on music

A pair of music classes will be offered this summer at Lane Community College in Florence.  The first is an eight-week course on “sight reading” and is designed for singers of all skill levels.

The second is called “All the Opera You Can Stand” and is intended to instill appreciation for that art form.

LCC Continuing Education Coordinator Marsha Sills said both classes are open to anyone, no matter their level of expertise.

The sight reading course runs every Monday evening from June 20th through August 15th, the opera class will be just three weeks; Wednesdays; between July 13th and the 27th.

For information on how to enroll… call LCC Florence at 541-997-8444 or visit the local center on Oak Street.

6th Annual Florence Festival of Books

It’s still 3 ½ months away, but organizers of the annual Florence Festival of Books are already at work planning this year’s event.

The main point of the festival will be the day-long book fair featuring authors and publishers Saturday, September 24th.

A panel of authors will talk about their first books and how they made it to print at three o’clock the afternoon of Friday, September 23rd.   Later that evening, award winning Portland author Phillip Margolin will be the featured keynote speaker for the festival.  Margolin has written 19 novels, many of them New York Times best sellers.

Advance tickets for the Margolin talk are just $8.  Registration for the September 24th and 25th Florence Festival of Books begins Wednesday.