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.

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 […]

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 (bit.ly/2022RhodyCourtApplication) 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; […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES 2021 PHOTO CONTEST WINNER

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 […]

Chamber Community Survey Here

Dear community members. As the Chamber continues to be the Catalyst for business, Convener of leaders and influencers and Champion for a thriving community, we want to hear from you. We know that our community is seriously challenged with short staff, workforce housing and childcare. These are all issues that are on our radar and that we’re working with fellow stakeholders to bring what resources and information we can to the Florence Area. This survey’s purpose is to hear directly from all facets of our community so we can best align our efforts to truly pursue a thriving community. Your help is greatly appreciated. Please be honest and constructive in your responses. We will draw four winners from the surveys submitted and they’ll win a $50 Visa gift card. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and time with us. SURVEY HERE

LOCAL ARTIST JO BEAUDREAU EXHIBITS AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features an everchanging exhibit of local artists’ work. Their newest display of local artistry features mixed media encaustics by Jo Beaudreau, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials and Gallery in Florence.  Encaustic is an painting technique using pigments mixed with hot wax and resin that has been used for centuries.  “This year’s works featured a challenge since we have been living in challenging times – why not embrace and take it head on?,” asked Beaudreau. Beaudreau chose to set some guidelines for herself which incorporated round shapes in various sizes and neon colors. With these parameters she was able to create unique works of abstract landscapes—colorful and surreal images of forest, lake, beach, sunrise, sunset, and more—while using her popular encaustic techniques. “Neon colors are, appropriate to our times, a challenge—hard to work with—because they are so vibrant. Not many artists use neon colors in […]

CHAMBER ANNOUNCES WINNING DESIGN FOR STREETSCAPE BANNERS

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Florence, Central Lincoln PUD, and Three Rivers Casino Resort is preparing to hang festive, colorful banners on power and light poles along the Highway 101 corridor and at the casino. The Chamber announced the effort in mid-May and had a call-to-artists for banner designs open through June 30. Lane County artist Tara Kemp’s designs were selected by the Chamber. Fine-tuning of the designs wrapped up in September. Kemp will receive $1000 for her suite of designs featuring paintings that cover the scope of local food, entertainment, sea life, and the area’s beautiful and diverse landscape. The first set of banners are scheduled to be installed soon. “I love it that the Chamber, the City of Florence, and their partners value creating a positive impression of the area through a visual display. I love it that they value creativity and […]

FLORENCE REGIONAL ARTS ALLIANCE IS AUGUST’S FEATURED EXHIBITOR AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER

Artwork from the Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA) is featured in the Florence Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center lobby, 290 Highway 101, through the end of September.   “We love the diversity of art provided this month by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance,” says the Chamber’s executive director Bettina Hannigan. “FRAA has become such an essential and dynamic part of the community and their efforts to advance tourism through the promotion of the arts is a tremendous compliment to the Chamber’s work in the region.”   FRAA chose the theme of “Community—Coming Together” for their exhibit, with artwork reflective of Florence’s diverse coastal life. Artists with work on display include, Kristin Anderson, fused glass; Stella Ault, watercolor; Pat Briggs, watercolor; Debi Ford, ceramics; Jack Hibbs, woodworking; Alan B. Huck, painting; Christine Hodges Huck, watercolor; Claudia Ignatieff, oil painting; John Leasure, oil painting; Tom Lederle, ceramics; Carol Lorraine, acrylic painting; Donna […]

CHAMBER ANNOUNCES SIUSLAW AWARD WINNERS

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce held its prestigious Siuslaw Awards: Phoenix Rising event Thursday night at Three Rivers Casino Resort and presented awards to nine businesses, two individuals, and an entire industry.   The awards celebrate excellence during 2020 in the local business community.   “This year’s slate was an amazing representation of our community’s best assets, our businesses, and individuals who made a difference,” said Chamber president/CEO Bettina Hannigan. “We recognized and celebrated those who inspired us during the past 18 months.”   “All who attended heard the stories of those businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, and individuals who not only survived but thrived through hard work, creativity, collaboration, and compassion. There were inspiring tales of businesses helping businesses, churches helping churches, and nonprofit organizations working together to see the Florence area through all we faced during the height of the pandemic,” she added.   The event was attended […]