From the empty sample cups of Florence’s cancelled Wine & Chowder Trail and Great Glass Float Giveaway Weekend bubbled-up a tasty, revised Florence Chowder and Glass Float Trail that spans the entire month of October. Florence is home to the most amazing chowders—clam, crab, other seafoods—we can’t not celebrate them. So, in place of the annual Florence Wine & Chowder Trail Weekend, we’re inviting locals and visitors to sample chowders and find glass floats all month long in October! Participants can get their free chowder ballot and glass float maps starting September 30th at the Chamber, 290 Highway 101 in Florence, at participating merchants, or click here. Nearly 10 participating chowder-makers will offer a cup of their finest for only $3. For the glass float trail, shoppers can visit nearly 30 merchants in Historic Old Town Florence, and many other places around town, to spot the opulent objects d’art placed […]

114th Rhododendron Festival Logo Contest is NOW OPEN!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of “Rhody Wonderland” submitted by Janell Morgan of Florence, as the theme for the 114th Rhododendron Festival. To help promote the annual event, the Chamber’s board of directors is holding a logo design contest. The board is requesting a design that incorporates the event’s name, dates, location, theme, and familiar elements from around the area. Contest rules are available here and at the Chamber’s visitors center, 290 Highway 101. Deadline for submissions is November 15, 2020. The winner will be announced November 23 and receive a $250 cash prize and carnival passes. Their work will be seen across a multitude of media that promote the event which runs from May 12 thru the 16th, 2021. “With Rhody Wonderland” as our theme for the 2021 Rhododendron Festival, it opens the door to a wide variety of fun ideas,” says the Chamber’s executive […]


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 […]

Serenity Amidst Chaos at Chamber Visitors Center

After several months of being closed to the public, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has reopened ands has a fresh new art exhibit. The name, apropos to our times. “Serenity Amidst Chaos” was selected by exhibit coordinators Jo Beaudreau of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials & Gallery (2285 Highway 101) and Kristin Anderson of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance (120 Maple St.) and Backstreet Gallery (1421 Bay St.). “The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce loves to showcase the talent of our local creatives,” said Chamber president and CEO Bettina Hannigan. “Artists’ contributions from Florence Regional Arts Alliance, Backstreet Gallery, and BeauxArts are on display through September 2020. Kristin and Jo quickly pulled together nearly two dozen amazing artists and the exhibit is nothing short of spectacular.” The exhibit includes photography, oils, pastels, watercolor, acrylic, glass, wood, ceramic, and textile and mixed media. The visitors center is at 290 Highway 101 […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and its members welcome shoppers to come find the socially-distanced, properly-masked, Sami the Sea Lion in businesses all over town. July 31 marked the return of the fuzzy pinniped, this time with a COVID-19 mask and a summertime bow in her fur. The six-inch plush sea lions are provided by the event’s main sponsor, Sea Lion Caves. “Sami is back in time to have some summer fun,” says Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “This summer we’re calling it ‘The Social Distancing Search for Sami’ and it is sponsored by Sea Lion Caves.” Based on last winter’s successful Sea Lion on A Shelf trail, shoppers can venture to any of nearly 30 participating Chamber member’s businesses and get their passports stamped when they spot Sami. A minimum of 15 stamps are necessary to enter for a chance to […]


“Based on the most current regulations from Governor Kate Brown’s ‘stay home, stay healthy’ measures we must cancel our annual Independence Day celebration,” said Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thankfully, our contracts with the fireworks technicians, and the Port of Siuslaw for the launch site, are in place for next year.” Chambers of commerce and other organizations across the state are taking major economic hits from canceling summer and fall events. Some are even canceling events through the end of the year. “We waited as long as we could to make this decision in hopes of hosting this fun day of family events and fireworks, but given the timeline to put this event together—with the producers of the pie- and watermelon-eating contests and the providers of the bounce houses, music, and fireworks—there is no way to plan for it with any certainty,” Hannigan explained. […]


113TH ANNUAL FLORENCE RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL IS ON(LINE)! Virtual Parade and 5K, Photo Contest Announced The City of Florence and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that they are moving the “Blast From the Past”-themed 113th Rhododendron Festival Grand Floral Parade online. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Chamber announced April 1 that this year would mark the first time since WWII that the actual event has been cancelled. In addition, the Chamber, in partnership with Three Rivers Casino, is hosting an online “Blast From The Past” exhibit of photos contributed by the public of recent and historic Rhododendron Festivals. Florence Habitat for Humanity will host the annual Rhody Run as a virtual event and fundraiser. The virtual parade will premiere on Facebook on Sunday, May 17, at noon. PARADE Organizers are asking community members, organizations, and local businesses to upload short videos or photos for them to edit into […]

Blast From the Past – Rhody Days Photo Contest

Share your favorite Rhody Days photo memories – both old and new and enter win! Just because we had to cancel the Rhododendron Festival, doesn’t mean that we can’t have a blast while remembering the past! Winners will be chosen from every decade. Those photos will then move on to final judging, to determine the overall best “Blast from the Past” photo. To enter our contest, post your photos here by: Thursday, May 14th at 5 pm. We look forward to reminiscing with you! Submit your photo here.