The long-running event, held during the long holiday weekend in October, is produced by the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and has drawn nearly 1000 visitors each year.
“We waited until the last possible moment to finalize this decision, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Chamber president/CEO Bettina Hannigan. “The Wine & Chowder Trails have been growing in popularity, drawing people from all over and beyond Oregon. But as with our annual Florence Rhododendron Festival, which was cancelled for the first time since WWII, COVID-19 has taken another victim.”
Hannigan said the chamber’s board of directors is working toward hosting the event in the spring of 2021 or as soon as safely possible. The event features more than a dozen top Oregon wineries and a dozen of the best local chowders. A decision on the Florence Holiday Festival, held during Thanksgiving weekend, is pending.
“As a chamber of commerce, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our community. That can be a delicate balance to strike in the context of ever-changing statistics, trends, and regulations. The economic well-being of our community is dependent on tourism, and the Wine & Chowder Trials, the Great Glass Float Giveaway, the Communitywide Garage Sale, the Goin’ With the Flo vintage trailer rally, and Circles in the Sand beach carving and labyrinth have all been essential for drawing visitors to Florence after Labor Day. Individually and collectively they help stretch tourism to the last possible moment,” Hannigan explained.
Hannigan said the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for business development and growth, a convenor of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger community working hard for member businesses and the community to advance the cause of local and regional commerce. Approximately 1900 people in Florence rely on tourism-based employment, and tourism pumps about $147 million into the community each year.
For more information on all that the Florence Area Chamber offers businesses and the community, or to join or volunteer, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128 or visit FlorenceChamber.com.