Nov. 28, 2018 — Florence greeted the holiday season with open arms this weekend as hundreds poured into Historic Old Town on Saturday to shop, listen to music, visit with Santa and see the thousands of lights that had bedecked the town.
“I think it went phenomenal,”
said Bettina Hannigan, Executive Director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, which helped sponsor many of Saturday’s events. “Everything was decorated beautifully, and a good time was had by all. From what I saw, we had more people than we’ve had in the past. We had great weather, and each year just keeps getting a little bit better, and people are putting it on their radar.”
A few highlights of the Saturday event included a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Old Town Gazebo and tractor rides provided by Gary Foglio up and down the street.
“It was fun having Gary’s antique tractor,” Hannigan said. “The sound of it was great.”
Shopping was the name of the game Saturday for Small Business Saturday. Patrons from in and out of town “shopped small” at the businesses in Old Town and the Uptown 101 districts.
“Anywhere you shop in Florence is shopping small, because it’s employing people and generating revenue in town. I'm excited to see people doing that,” Hannigan said.
Old Town customers were treated to live music throughout the day and evening from local talent, such as CROW performers and internationally renowned singer Ken Lavigne, who also performed at the Florence Events Center later that evening.
Boats docked at the Port of Siuslaw were lit up with various colors and animations for the annual Light Up Your Boat float display, which found the ship So’Fea taking home the best in show award for the second year.
The festivities wrapped up with the tree lighting at Siuslaw Bridge Interpretive Center, where the city’s living grand fir was lit up along with other displays around the city park.