Florence’s annual Wine & Chowder Trail, and Great Glass Float Giveaway, returns October 5, 6, and 7—and this year’s event has a couple of fun new features.

The Wine Trail is Saturday, October 6, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Participants can pick up a commemorative wine glass for $5 and tasting tickets for $1 each at Gazebo Park at the corner of Bay St. and Laurel St., then stroll scenic Historic Old Town Florence to sample wines from 13 different Oregon wineries (21 and over only).

Wineries include: Brandborg, Bradley Vineyards, Campbell Lane Wines, Capitello Winery, Chateau Lorane, High Pass Winery, Gelardi Vineyard, J. Scott Cellars, La Velle Winery, Sarver Winery, Season Cellars, Silvan Ridge, and Troon Vineyard.

The Chowder Trail is Sunday, October 7, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Ballots and maps will be available for $5 at the trailhead at Gazebo Park. There will be more than 10 locally-made chowders for participants to sample and vote for.

Chowder contestants include: Bay Street Grille, Bay View Bistro (tasting at Bridgeport Market), Beachcomber Pub, Bridgewater Fish House, Hukilau (tasting at their food truck on Bay St.), Homegrown Public House, ICM/International C Food Market, Jerry’s Place (tasting at Beach House Gifts), Lovejoys, Novelli’s Seafood, and Surfside Restaurant (tasting at Socks to a T).

New this year will be Saturday’s Circles in the Sand beach art exhibit by sand artist Denny Dyke from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. featuring the carving of a huge labyrinth on the beach at Driftwood Shores.

Also new this year is a clamming workshop in the Siuslaw River estuary.

Local clamming expert Mike Bones will teach clam hunting and digging techniques, and how to identify local clams. A contribution of $10 per adult is suggested. Children under 12 are free. Participants will need to bring their own shovel, bucket, paring knife, and suitable attire—and a shellfish license ($7) available at Bi Mart stores. Registrants can choose either Friday, October 5, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. or Sunday, October 7, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Contact event coordinator Terry Abeyta at 541-997-3128 or events@florencechamber.com before noon Thursday, October 4, to reserve a place and get directions to the digging site.

Beginning Friday and continuing throughout the weekend visitors can venture around town in search of more than 30 hand-blown glass floats, hidden in plain sight, produced by local artisans. Entrants can tell the store’s clerk where they spotted a float and have their passport validated. The more floats a person finds, the better the chance of taking one home. Maps are available at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and wine and chowder trailheads.

“Fall in Florence is a deliciously thrilling time,” says Florence Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Bettina Hannigan. “On October 5, 6, and 7 we add the flavor palate of Oregon’s finest wines and chowders to all the fun activities There’s color, texture, and a unique seasonality in the air. You can see why we call this place Oregon’s Coastal Playground.”