First Citizen Nominations Are Open!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2018 First Citizen Awards! This prestigious award is given to an individual who has used their influence, time, talents and resource to serve and improve the Florence Area. Now is the time to recognize the individuals in our community, Toot their horn! The award will be presented at the January 23rd Siuslaw Awards emceed by KEZI’s Matt Templemen. Download the nomination form here.

FLORENCE HOLIDAY FESTIVAL BRINGS SANTA, SALES, LIVE MUSIC

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, November 24. Santa’s arrival, hayrides, lighted boats at the marina, live music, and other performances, and the official lighting of its Christmas tree will take place in Historic Old Town; and shops and galleries will be open for holiday shopping all around town. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. the public can enjoy hot cider and cocoa, hayrides down Bay Street between the Port of Siuslaw and the parking lot west of The River House Inn, live music, and witness Santa’s arrival via firetruck courtesy of Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue. C.R.O.W. Theater Kids will perform at 4:30 p.m. Nationally-touring swinging crooner Ken Lavigne performs from 5:30 to 6:00, and at 6:00 p.m. everyone can gather at the Siuslaw Interpretive Park when Mayor Joe Henry flips the switch to light the tree. Lavigne will perform a full […]

ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF RODGER BENNETT ON DISPLAY AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER IN NOVEMBER

The eye-popping work of local photographer Rodger Bennett is featured in the monthly art exhibit at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center in November. The Chamber features a different local art exhibit each month. Bennett’s exhibit includes nine of his photos, self-framed, on high-gloss metal with sharp-as-a-tack detail and brilliant color.  The pieces vary in size from medium-sized accent photos to larger murals. There is also one of his photos printed on canvas with a floating frame. All are available to purchase after the exhibit ends in December. “This year’s theme is largely wildlife that I enjoy photographing and displaying,” says Bennett. “Most are North American but there are a couple of African creatures mixed in. It is pretty typical of my studio in Old Town, although there are no portraits on display.  I really enjoy making portraits that people like,” he adds. “The studio is full of more photos…and […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES 2018 PHOTO CONTEST, CASH PRIZE

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for the best amateur or professional photos of the fun, frolic, famous attractions, iconic buildings, and beautiful scenery of Oregon’s Coastal Playground. The winner will collect a $250 cash prize and have their submitted photo featured in the Chamber’s resource guide and other printed marketing pieces, on their website, and in social media. A panel of Chamber members will decide the winner. The winner will be announced the week of November 19. Deadline for entry is November 15, 2018. For more contest information, entry forms, and image release waivers visit FlorenceChamber.com/Contest, call 541-997-3128, or e-mail Contest@FlorenceChamber.com. “We call this place Oregon’s Coastal Playground for a reason,” says Bettina Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director, “so we’re looking for outstanding amateur or professional photos that convey our coastal playground theme. So download your best photos from you smartphone or camera and send us your […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR RHODODENDRON COURT

Applications for the 112th Rhododendron Court are now available through Siuslaw and Mapleton schools, the Florence Area Visitor Center office, and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce website, florencechamber.com  The Junior Court is open to First, Second, Fourth and Fifth graders from Siulsaw region and open to Third graders from Mapleton region. The Senior Court is open to high school senior girls and boys who exhibit exceptional character and are Siuslaw and Mapleton region residents. Queen Rhododendra and her Junior and Senior Court as well as the King of the Coast and his Senior Court will reign over the 2019 Rhododendron Festival, act as the goodwill ambassadors for this event, and make many promotional appearances.  The Rhododendron Court will benefit from experiences with public speaking and media relations. Queen Rhododendra and the King of the Coast, along with their Senior Court will be awarded scholarships on the night of the coronation. […]

Bicycling Oregon’s Coastal Playground

Oh sure, you could drive the most diverse and spectacular coastal highway, but what fun would that be if you’re a cyclist? Oregon’s bicycle tourism contributes an average of $1.1 million per day to Oregon’s economy. That means we love cyclists. It also means lots and lots of pedal-powered two-wheelers are on Highway 101 with you all year. But of course, spring, summer, and fall are the absolute best times to take in the dramatic panoramas. There are 363 incredibly scenic miles of Highway 101 starting in Astoria at the border with Washington to Brookings near the border with California. The entire Pacific Coast Scenic Byway provides views of amazing coastal scenery. The road winds by estuarine marshes, clings to seaside cliffs, passes through agricultural valleys, and brushes against wind-sculpted dunes. And Florence is right smack dab in the middle of it. Of course, we think the best part of […]

PAINTED ROCKS ROLL INTO FLORENCE

They’re watching and waiting for you. Lurking by flower pots, under benches, in doorways, behind public art, by fence posts. And they want to go home with you. Or just to be moved to another location in town. Or go on vacation, only to be left behind at your destination. Who are they? A rock group. Or more correctly, a group of rocks. Painted ones. And they like to have their picture taken and posted to Facebook pages dedicated to their existence. Painted rocks are a phenomenon rapidly growing in popularity. Stones, decorated with anything from photo quality images of nature to faces, flags, animals, or inspirational sayings, are popping up all around town. In fact, more than 500 rocks are estimated to have rolled into Florence in the last several days. Why? Betty Blake, a volunteer at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, fields inquiries about painted rocks and […]

FLORENCE NAMED NATION’S SECOND BEST SMALL TOWN FOR ADVENTURE

Voters in a national poll have selected Florence as the country’s second-best small town for adventure. In April, USA Today’s 10Best.com listed Florence as one of their top-20. Florence beat out such tourism heavyweights as Sun Valley, ID; Telluride, CO; Sedona, AZ; Moab, UT; Watkins Glen, NY; Bar Harbor, ME; and Stowe, VT. Florence was beat out by Marquette, WI. The poll allowed voters to vote once per day on as many devices as they wanted for several weeks. Florence started the poll at number 11 and quickly rose to second. The poll closed Monday, May 14. Florence was the only Oregon destination on the list. To make the list, each town had to have a population under 25,000. Florence’s population is just under 9,000. In a similar USA Today poll last year Florence was voted second of the Top 20 Best Small Towns in the Northwest. “We are super […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER PRESENTS OLD FASHIONED 4TH OF JULY

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce will present Florence’s annual Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, July 4, with food, fun, and a fabulous fireworks display. Banner Bank is this year’s “Big Bang” sponsor thanks to a $5000 contribution that will underwrite the fireworks display, maintain last year’s 50 percent increase in the size of the display, and cover the cost of fully-synchronized patriotic music played over an outdoor speaker system in Old Town and KCST 106.9 FM. The pyrotechnics will be launched from a barge in the Siuslaw River, near the Port of Siuslaw property. According to Chamber director Bettina Hannigan, this gives more people a better vantage point for viewing the show, and adds depth and drama by allowing the show to reflect off the water. She recommends coming early to the Old Town area to find the best spots for viewing. A growing number of “Special Event Sponsors” […]

LOCAL ARTIST JO BEAUDREAUX EXHIBITS AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER

Local photographer and owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials, Jo Beaudreaux, hopes to take people on an artistic journey to encourage visitors and locals to explore the Central Coast’s nature and its all of its simple and complex beauty. Samples of her work are on display throughout June at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s visitors center, 290 Highway 101 in Florence. Beaudreaux’s work has been displayed at numerous shows and locations across America. She also does commission, commercial, and portrait work. The exhibit, titled “ExplORE” the Coastal Playground is an artistic journey through encaustic and photography. Each snippet is a moment in time to stop, reflect, absorb, and carry on. Beaudreaux also has works up to 24-by-36 inches on display. All pieces are for sale. Beaudreaux serves on the City of Florence’s Public Art Committee, does the 2nd Saturday Gallery Tour of more than 13 local galleries, serves on […]