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From a Facebook post and online interview with Emily Pelston of Scottsburg, Indiana   December 28, 2022 My boyfriend and I travelled to Florence for the holiday and all I have to say is “WOW!” Florence is such an amazing place. We had a phenomenal time and got to experience some of the most beautiful sights and people. I don’t exactly remember any research I did personally, we kinda just did a spontaneous trip! The sand dunes were something I would have personally never done but am so glad we did! We are from Southern Indiana so this what such an incredible change of scenery! The hospitality and kindness of everyone is also such a bonus. I loved getting to talk to the owners of lots of the businesses down by the river. Here are some pictures from our trip! When we finally decided on Oregon, we opened up Google […]

Submit Your 2023 Rhododendron Festival Theme for a Chance to Win $100

The 116th annual Florence Rhododendron Festival is still months away (May 17-21, 2023), but planning is already underway in earnest. Part of that planning involves the public’s input on a theme for the big event. The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is asking people to exert their creativity and submit ideas for a fun theme that represents the festival and our area, and entices people to come from out of town to enjoy the festivities. A $100 prize is up for grabs for the winning suggestion. To submit your idea fill out the form below or drop it off at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitors Center at 290 Highway 101. Members of the organizing committee will choose a winner and announce it on December 19th. In the case of duplicate ideas, the entry that arrived earliest will be declared the winner. Submission period has expired.

4th of July will Be A BLAST in Florence and more fun adventures to plan for!

Sunny Summertime Greetings from Florence, Oregon’s Coastal Playground! Here’s a quick peek at what’s coming up in and around Florence this summer and beyond… Don’t just daydream about our uncrowded ocean beaches, towering sand dunes, peaceful lakes, inspiring ancient forests, world-class golf courses, sandboarding, ATVs, fishing, crabbing, and…you get the idea. Come enjoy them! There truly are more things than you can do in just one day, and it’s time to start planning your next trip to the center of the Oregon Coast. July 4—Come join our Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration. Florence is home to one of the best, biggest, and longest professional fireworks displays on the coast! It provides a perfect end to a day of fun all around town including a porch parade that directs drivers to all the great patriotically festooned homes, businesses, yards, windows, and of course…porches! You’ll also enjoy the bike parade through Historic Old Town, […]

Rhody Wrap Up – Announcing Parade Winners

With the 115th Annual Florence Rhododendron Festival successfully concluded, with an estimated visitor count of around 20,000 people, organizers are celebrating what they’re deeming a tremendous success for being “Back in Bloom” (this year’s theme).   This year’s parade judges were Christina Voogd, principle broker at Berkshire-Hathaway Home Services, next name, job, and next name, job. For each category, the winners were:   School — Tie: Rhododendron Senior and Junior Courts Dignitary — Future First Citizen Ava Glowacki Service — Florence Habitat for Humanity Commercial — Three Rivers Casino Equestrian — Eugene Pro Rodeo Non-Commercial — Lebanon Strawberry Festival Judges Favorite — City of Florence Novelty — Florence Jeeps R Us   Queen Rhododendra Haylee Cole’s award went to Habitat for Humanity and King of the Coast Joseph Shepard’s award went to the Lebanon Strawberry Festival.   Next year’s annual Florence Rhododendron Festival will be held, as usual, on the third full weekend of […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center and Gallery, 290 Highway 101, features an everchanging exhibit of local artists’ work. Their newest display of local artistry features 2-D, 3-D, textile, jewelry, paint, stone sculpture, and photos from Ärtêfacts at 1255 Bay St. in Florence.   “Metal wall art is in abundance in my shop, so I featured a few of those,” explained owner Shelly Medeiros. “I also featured the ever-popular and artful Myra brand purses and SolMate Socks. I have way too many things to list, but suffice to say, it is a very unique and eclectic selection of fun stuff.”   Most everything I have in the shop, and at the exhibit at the visitors center, is handmade. Some items come from vendors, and some come directly from the makers.   The centerpiece of the exhibit are two stunning stone sculptures (a sea turtle and an octopus) created by […]

First Citizen Nominations Are Open! Nominate Now – Deadline is June 23.

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2021 First Citizen Awards! This prestigious award is given to an individual who has used their influence, time, talents and resources to serve and improve the Florence Area. The award will be presented at the July 14th Siuslaw Awards at Three Rivers Casino Resort. Tickets go on sale June 17th. Now is the time to recognize these remarkable individuals in our community. Make your nomination below.

Siuslaw Awards Nominations OPEN!

The 14th annual Siuslaw Awards event is fast approaching. The awards banquet, sponsored by the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, will happen on July 14th at Three Rivers Casino’s conference center. This prestigious event recognizes excellence in the local business community by naming recipients for awards in Excellence in Customer Service, Innovation is Everything, Heart on their Sleeve, Profound Difference Award, Bold New Business, Still Going Strong and the  Stu Johnston Business of the Year Award. Two outstanding individuals in the community will be honored with the First Citizen Award and the Future First Citizen Award. The First Citizen Award recognizes that individual who has given selflessly to the community based on community involvement, leadership, and overall community impact. The Future First Citizen Award recognizes a student based on his or her academic success as well as civic involvement and contributions to the community. The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce […]

Rhody Court is “Back in Bloom”

For Immediate Release from the Rhododendron Court Leadership Team Thursday, December 9th, 2022 Rhody Court is “Back in Bloom” The Rhododendron Court took a year hiatus in 2021 and is coming “Back in Bloom” more boldly than ever.   On Thursday, December 9th both Siuslaw and Mapleton High Schools received information and inspiration about this year’s Court opportunity. Students in their Senior year are encouraged to apply. Applications are now open for the 115th Senior and Junior Rhododendron Court.  Deadline to apply is December 17th.  For the Senior Court applications are available digitally ( or via paper available at the Florence Area Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce Office (290 Highway 101). Junior Court paper applications are available at Siuslaw and Mapleton Elementary School offices and at the Florence Area Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce Office. The Court Leadership Team consists of a dynamic group of dedicated community members including; […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has selected the winner of a $250 cash prize in its 2021 photo contest. The contest was conducted from August 15 to October 15. A panel of Chamber members reviewed the entries.   The Chamber was looking for the best photos of the fun, frolic, and distinctive scenery from Oregon’s Coastal Playground—an area up to 25 miles in any direction of Florence. More than 100 photos were entered.   Brittany Buhler of Harrisburg entered the winning photo, taken on Heceta Beach during a girlfriend getaway to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding.   “We rented a beach house, went out for chowder, then went to the beach to build sandcastles. It wasn’t a typical bachelorette party, but it was what we wanted to do for our friend,” said Buhler.   Buhler used her iPhone SE set at f\2.2, ISO 25, and 12 mpx with no […]