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Fireworks Reinstated at Central Oregon Coast's Florence After Previous Cancellation

Published 06/09/21 at 6:30 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Fireworks Reinstated at Central Oregon Coast's Florence After Previous Cancellation

(Florence, Oregon) – After shutting down its big fireworks celebration in a decision back in May, the central Oregon coast town of Florence has worked out a way to whoop it up for the Fourth of July after all. The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Siuslaw have come together to save the town's annual display, based at least partially on the county being in a lower risk category now.

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Once again, fireworks will explode over the Siuslaw River, fired off from the east end of the Siuslaw Port Campground in Historic Old Town beginning. It happens on Sunday, July 4 at about 10 p.m., with a wide variety of vantage points for viewing.

The May 21 decision to kill the display did not come easily, said chamber president/CEO Bettina Hannigan. Behind the scenes, they kept working on it in spite of the announcement.

“Over the past two weeks, we have been holding our collective breaths, biting our nails, and working with key stakeholders - the show's producer Western Display Fireworks, the Port of Siuslaw, and the City of Florence - for a safe contingency plan in the event that circumstances changed,” Hannigan said.

It was the governor's ruling last Friday that changed those circumstances

With the governor's ruling last Friday, the circumstances did change. Hannigan said Lane County reached the state's minimum benchmark vaccination rate of 65% to move into the “low risk” category.

The clouds essentially parted for the famed central Oregon coast display to get reinstated.

“Big thanks go to the Port for their generosity in providing the launch location and to Chamber members whose annual dues are underwriting this year's big event (more than $18,000) for everyone who happens to be in town,” Hannigan said. “And we are especially grateful to Western Display for keeping the date open even after we thought we had to cancel and not requiring an expensive cancelation fee. We look forward to celebrating our nation's independence and encourage everyone in Florence to find safe and fun ways to celebrate Independence Day this year and look to the skies that evening for the beautiful display we have planned.”

Hannigan said the various collaborators had to weigh economic impacts, visitor experience, and public health concerns in a declining yet still changing COVID-19 environment.

“Over the past 18 months we have learned that these are not easy decisions and that they can be forced to change by quickly shifting governmental edict,” she said. “It has been challenging, even frustrating, but we have become more adept at shifting with them. That's why we are thankful to those who have supported us and understood the depth, breadth, and length of time it takes to coordinate such events.”

As Lane County and this part of the Oregon coast gets closer to the state's goals for a complete reopening, Hannigan said they are looking towards the return of other high profile public festivals like October's Wine & Chowder Trails and Great Glass Float Giveaway Weekend. MORE FLORENCE BELOW

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