The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce will present Florence’s annual Independence Day celebration on Tuesday, July 4, with food, fun, and a 50% larger fireworks display. A number of area merchants will be offering holiday-themed specials.
Thanks to a number of generous Florence-area businesses and organizations, Tuesday’s fireworks show will be launched from a barge in the Siuslaw River. According to Chamber director Bettina Hannigan, this gives more people a better vantage point for viewing the show, and adds depth and drama by allowing the show to reflect off the water. The show itself will last between 20 and 30 minutes and be accompanied by patriotic music on KCST (106.9 FM) and KCFM (1260 AM/104.1 FM). The show begins shortly after dusk. Key sponsors include the City of Florence, American Legion “Yost Post” 59, Brisbane Enterprises, Florence Band of Brothers, Florence True Value, Hop Valley Brewing, Lofy Construction, Shorewood Senior Living, and The Siuslaw News.
During the day on Tuesday people can enjoy traditional pie- and watermelon-eating contests sponsored by Crossroads Assembly of God Church. The contests take place 1499 Bay St. (the former Silver Sand Dollar store) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (or until the pies and watermelon are gone). Participants will be divided into three age brackets for the contests—8-12, 13-17, and 18+. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place in each division. Sign-ups begin at 1:00 p.m. The church will also have an inflatable bounce house and obstacle course at the church, 1380 10th St. from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Both events are free.
At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday people will enjoy the spectacle of watching up to 2000 rubber ducks being dumped into the Siuslaw River during the 20th annual Kiwanis Duck race. Tickets are available at the Chamber Visitors Center, Coast Insurance, or Roby’s Furniture. Tickets can also be purchased directly from Kiwanis Club members in front of Florence Tech Solutions at 1431 Bay St. July 1-3 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and July 4 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The race begins out in the river off the docks at ICM Restaurant on Bay St. Proceeds go to college scholarships for local high school graduates, funding for local non-profits, and to underwrite the Kiwanis’ annual free community Thanksgiving dinner. For more information call 541-999-1889.
Also on Tuesday, the Florence Senior Center, 1570 Kingwood Drive, is hosting a barbecue for all ages from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Chamber and the City of Florence remind everyone that private fireworks are no longer allowed on publicly-owned property within the vicinity of Old Town as well as the Port of Siuslaw. This also applies to public streets and right of ways throughout the community, including beaches, dunes, and forests.