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Sea of Lights and Washed Ahore at the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Newport

AquqriumsantaThe Oregon Coast Aquarium will be decked out for the holidays surrounded by a sea of twinkling lights, holiday music, a new art exhibit and unique gift ideas. The 18th Annual Sea of Lights is a festive holiday celebration Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings.

A tradition for many families, visitors come from all over the region during the holiday season to visit the Aquarium, shop and spend time together at the beach. The entire Aquarium will be adorned with holiday decorations, a large Christmas tree and thousands of colorful lights.

Admission to the Sea of Lights is two items of food and $2, or $5. Admission is free to members.

“We put up about three miles of lights,” said Bob Llewellyn, Aquarium Grounds Manager. “We are going to LED’s each time we replace a new string, to slowly replace the old standard minis. LEDs use 8 or 10 times less electricity than the standard lights. Llewellyn said there will be a big lighted tree in the lobby, lots of lighted small trees and many lights outdoors.

At the Sea of Lights, guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa while parents snap photos. After visiting with Santa, guests can stroll through a sea of twinkling lights to the sounds of music, the Youth and Adult Handbell Choirs, the Coastalaires and Women of Note. The gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and children’s craft area will be offered.

washedashoreThis year, the Sea of Lights coincides with the opening of Washed Ashore, a new art exhibit featuring sculptures of marine life constructed of plastics found on the beach. “As an antidote to despair, we pick up plastics from Oregon beaches and make educational art,” said Angela Haseltine Pozzi, artist, educator and creator of the exhibit. “Community members of all ages are working together to gather the beach plastics and construct giant sculptures of the marine animals most affected by the plastic pollution.”

Since the inception of the project, thousands of pounds of plastic pollution have been processed into art supplies by Washed Ashore. The exhibit will be installed in Passages of the Deep and near the entrance of the Aquarium.

The Sea of Lights will also offer visitors a glimpse of Swampland, a new exhibit that showcases three different types of wetlands and the animals that live in them, including an American alligator, giant anacondas and a chance to “swim with the piranhas.”

In addition to holiday festivities and new exhibits, the Aquarium will also offer a variety of gift ideas for conservation minded visitors. “The Aquarium is a wonderful place to get some unique and lasting gift ideas,” said Jennifer Locklear, Aquarium Membership Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you also support the Aquarium and marine conservation.” Locklear said the Aquarium is ideal for those looking for a festive and peaceful shopping experience.

Aquarium Gift Ideas:

Aquarium Memberships Membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Memberships include one full year of free entry to the Aquarium and lots of other great benefits such as newsletter subscription, in-store discounts, and special events tickets.

Adopt an Animal The Adopt an Animal Program is a gift that continues to give, ensuring the best care possible for the animals at the Aquarium. Adoptions start at $40.00 and include a beautiful photo of the chosen animal. Other levels of adoptions include plush stuffed animals, t-shirts and animal encounters. Adoptions include the Aquarium’s most popular animals including otters, sea lions, seals, sharks and many more. An animal adoption is a perfect gift for animal lovers.

Dedicate a Brick The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s “Buy a Brick” program helps support the Aquarium and its mission. For donations of $100 or more, supporters can purchase a personalized brick, which is installed in the Aquarium’s entry pathway. You may have your name engraved on a brick, have it inscribed in memory or in honor of another individual or use it as an opportunity to leave a personalized message.

The Aquarium Gift and Book Shop Toys for young and old, books, games, puzzles, videos, nature music CD’s, stuffed toys, clothing, cards, jewelry, beautiful wall art, glass art, environmentally friendly gifts, cards, ornaments and a wealth of educational resources.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a private, not-for-profit aquatic and marine science educational facility offering a fun and interesting way to learn about Oregon’s unique coastal ecosystem. The Aquarium is dedicated to teaching marine wildlife and ocean conservation through responsible management and exhibition of marine life. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

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