Jan. 13, 2018 — Castletown, a band from Portland, started the 16th annual Winter Music Festival at the Florence Events Center on Thursday with the Kids Concert 2018. One of the group’s songs has the chorus, “let it grow,” and Kids Concert organizer Rachel Pearson said that really summed up the event. “It was so positive for the kids,” she said. In total, Siuslaw Elementary sent 600 students, Mapleton Elementary sent nearly 100 students and Highland Elementary in Reedsport sent close to 200. “Thank you to principals Mike Harklerode, Jodi O'Mara and Beckie Miller, as well as the bus drivers and teachers, for making all this happen,” Pearson said. “It’s a lot of work, but both concerts were just fabulous.” The Winter Music Festival continues through Sunday with the free Florence Regional Arts Alliance Artisan Fair on Friday and Saturday and music all weekend at the events center, 715 Quince St. For more information, visit WinterMusicFestival.org.