The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, November 25.

Santa’s arrival, hayrides, lighted boats at the marina, and the official lighting of its Christmas tree will take place in Historic Old Town; and shops and galleries will be open for holiday shopping all around town.

Many events will take place in Historic Old Town between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m.

“Rain or shine, it’s time to celebrate together!” says Bettina Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director. “Our Old Town area is getting decked-out for the holidays and we are excited to announce that The City of Florence has planted a gorgeous live tree at the Siuslaw Interpretive Park for our town to enjoy year after year. Come on out to be a part of the festivities!”

At 3:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive via firetruck down Bay Street, courtesy of Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue.

“Bring the kids, naughty or nice, to Gazebo Park in Old Town to visit with Santa, enjoy hot cider, music, candy canes, and all of the sparkling lights,” adds Hannigan. “There will be free hay rides down Bay Street between the Port of Siuslaw and the parking lot west of The River House Inn. As it gets dark at about 5:30 p.m. everyone can gather at the Siuslaw Interpretive Park when Mayor Joe Henry flips the switch to light our new tree for the very first time.”

Live music by Robert Paslay and Friends from Eugene will add to the festivities on Bay Street beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday is also national Shop Small day in honor of supporting small business in America.

“Bring your shopping list and “Shop Small” by visiting Florence merchants throughout town on Bay Street, the Antiques District, and uptown 101,” says Hannigan. “Many have new inventory coming in and are offering shopping specials all day Saturday and throughout the season. Let’s keep our shopping dollars in our community.”

New this year is the “Light Up Your Boat Float” at the Port of Siuslaw docks in Old Town. Boat owners—of anything from yachts to canoes—are encouraged to bring their boats, decorate them for the holidays, and be part of the festivities. Participants can moor their boats overnight on November 25 for free to be part of the event, but they must register with the Port before Tuesday, November 21. The Chamber will award a trophy for the best decorated vessel. In addition, the local Coast Guard station will dock one of their vessels as part of the festivities.

For more information call the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-997-3128, visit FlorenceChamber.com, or check their Facebook page at Florence Oregon Coast.