“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.

Looking for EASTER Dinner? Here’s our local restaurants serving you on Easter Sunday

Abby’s – 11 am – 9 pm – Take out & Delivery – 541-997-6608 Best Thai – Open 12 pm – 9 pm – Take out – 541- 997-5229 Bridgeport Market –  Open 7 am – 5 pm – Take out – 541-997-5091 Chen’s Family Dish – Open 3 pm – 8 pm – Take out – 541-902-2020 Clawson’s Wheelhouse – Open 8 am – 8 pm – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner regular menus. (Exceptions : no Prime Rib, Steak, Crab or Oysters). Cash or check. – Take out & Delivery. – 541-590-3669Darlings Marina – Open 7:30 am – 7 pm on Easter – Regular and Easter Prime Rib dinner special – $ 35.00 for 2 people – Take out & Free Delivery – 541-997-2841 Domino’s – Open 10:30 – Midnight – Take out & Delivery – 541-901-3030 Dunes Cafe – Open 6 am – 2 pm – Take out  – 541-997-5799  Fresh Harvest – Open 8 am – 1 pm – […]

113th Rhododendron Festival Cancelled 2020

CHAMBER ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF 2020 RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has announced it is canceling the 113th Rhododendron Festival. Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan met Monday, March 30, via virtual meeting with the Chamber’s presidential team and Florence city manager Erin Reynolds to forward the recommendation to the Chamber’s board of directors to cancel the event. The board approved. For perspective, this will be the first time since WWII that Rhody Fest has been canceled. “Based on the most current facts, government guidelines, and trending information, we must cancel Rhody Fest for 2020,” said Hannigan. “We gave this decision as long as we could and the deepest consideration. We had hoped for better news and a faster recovery.” “Logistically, there is no way to predict or plan for a new date this year, or postpone it until fall,” added Hannigan. “Many chambers across the country are canceling […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced that Dana Vion from Springfield is the winner of its recent photo contest. “Dana’s action shot of a kiteboarder at the south jetty reflects the true spirit and beautiful scenery of Florence as Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” says Bettina Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director. “Dana’s photo really captured a fun ‘playground’ moment and expresses how great Florence is for outdoor fun,” says Hannigan. “It was a very close decision, made all the more difficult by the fact that we received scores of outstanding amateur and professional photos. Each shows different aspects of the best of our area’s scenery, iconic buildings, natural wonders, and with families having fun in and around Florence. You can really see why we call this place Oregon’s Coastal Playground.” Vion works as a professional photographer, freelances for area publications such as Eugene Magazine, and does photographic and video work for […]

113th Rhododendron Festival Logo Contest is NOW OPEN!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of “Blast from the Past” submitted by Stan Pusieski of Florence, as the theme for the 113th 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 January 19, 2020. The winner will be announced January 24 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 15 to 17, 2020. “With ‘Blast from the Past’ as our theme for the 2020 Rhododendron Festival, it opens the door to a wide variety of fun ideas,” says […]


She came for the healing and stayed for the people she met and opportunities she gained. And now, she’s working to benefit the community that has blessed her with so much. Mitzi Hathaway has journeyed many a path to her new job as the event and tourism development coordinator for the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. She’s an arranger. From flower arranging to arranging boats in a harbor, from arranging weddings and memorial services to arranging the affairs of the office in a tech firm, Hathaway comes ready and raring to arrange the Chamber’s major events and further develop business and tourism here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground. “My heart is in the same place as Bettina’s (Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director). We both live to make lives better, to bring people together, to make our community better,” says Hathaway. “Bettina often says, ‘hearts have chambers and our Chamber has a […]