Florence lights holiday lights; Eclectic mix of music at library; low income heating assistance; Roblan wins; Aquarium lights; and Florence Crab Crack

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Rain and wind didn’t deter Santa Claus

Periods of heavy rain and gusty winds swept through the area Saturday afternoon and evening.  But that didn’t deter the faithful from turning out to participate in Florence’s official beginning to the Christmas Season.

The crowd was light as Santa Claus arrived via Fire Truck at the Gazebo Park on Bay Street shortly after three.

But the weather soon ease, and more people turned out to listen as the Siuslaw High School Choir caroled at the gazebo, as well as at the site of the Christmas Tree… the Siuslaw Bridge Interpretive Center just down the street.

As promised, at “approximately” 5:30 that evening, Mayor Joe Henry ordered the lighting of a 30-foot tall Tree on the observation platform.

The entire center is decked out in holiday lights and will remain lit, 24-hours a day, through the season.

Eclectic mix of music at library

A pair of acoustic musicians will bring a unique blend of music to the Bromley Room Saturday afternoon at Siuslaw Public Library.  David Helfrand and Justin Lader perform an interesting blend of “lively jigs and wistfully sad tunes” according to Adult Services Librarian Kevin Mittge.

The pair utilize a variety of instruments, including celtic harp, mandolin, guitar, violin and keyboard.  Mittge said their music is inspired by a variety of sources, including Celtic, Middle Eastern, Progressive Rock, pentatonic meditation, and “space music”.

Helfrand and Lader have performed separately and together in several different Western Oregon locations.  They’ll be together Saturday afternoon, at two pm at the library… There’s no admission charge.

Low income heating assistance offered

Additional funding for a program that provides one-time assistance to offset increased heating costs for low income residents will be offered again this week.

372 area households have already signed up for the help according to Bob Teter with Siuslaw Outreach Services.

More than 400 households received the assistance last year, he added.

Teter says this week’s additional funding will be provided only to households that have not already received assistance this year.  Teter said eligible people can call SOS beginning Thursday, December 1st.

Roblan wins reelection

It appears Arnie Roblan will hold on to his Oregon Senate seat.  After all the ballots have been counted in the seven counties that make up the Fifth District, the Coos Bay Democrat wound up with 30,301 votes.  That’s just 367 votes ahead Richard Anderson who ended the campaign with 29,944.

The Lincoln City Republican had plenty of monetary support from Republican groups.  He mounted the challenge against the first-term Senator.

Just over 25-hundred votes went to Libertarian candidate Dan Souza, giving Roblan 48-percent to Anderson’s 47-percent.

The vote is considered to be final and will be certified this week.

Aquarium lights to be lit in December

The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport has added another holiday lights destination to your possible list of outings this season.

The “Sea of Lights” celebration opens later this week and will be available every Friday and Saturday night through December… with the exception of Christmas Eve… from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

Lance Beck is the director of marketing at the Aquarium.  He says the “Sea of Lights is a fun way for the Aquarium to give back to the community”.  In addition to offering the light display inside and outside the facility, they’re also asking visitors to bring non-perishable food for their local food bank.

Opening weekend… this Friday and Saturday… the cost is only $2 per person with two cans or non-perishable food items.  Entry is $10 without a donation.

Florence Crab Crack returning

400 of the hottest tickets in town will go on sale Thursday in Florence.

They’re for the sixth annual Crab Crack to benefit Florence Food Share.

The crab feed itself will be Saturday, February 4th at the Florence Events Center.  But tickets are only sold in advance, and they usually sell out well before the day itself.

Dinner includes Oregon Dungeness crab, along with pasta, coleslaw, garlic bread and dessert courtesy of BJ’s Ice Cream.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased in advance by calling Bob MacDuffee at 541-997-9599.