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 […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER NAMES PHOTO CONTEST WINNER

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 […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER NAMES NEW EVENT, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

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 […]

Registration Is Open for the Central Coast Culinary & Agritourism Studio Program 

Lane & Lincoln Counties, Ore. November 2019 – The Central Coast Culinary & Agritourism Studio, offered by Travel Oregon, is open for registration. This two-day workshop, November 12-13, will focus on culinary & agricultural tourism development in the Central Coast region, including the communities of Dunes City, Florence, Mapleton, Lincoln City, Yachats, Waldport, Seal Rock, Toledo, Newport, Siletz, Otter Rock, Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach and the greater region. This two-day workshop is designed for those interested in marketing your region’s premier culinary & agricultural experiences as part of a food trail on the Central Coast. Throughout this program, participants will explore how communities can benefit from identifying, developing or enhancing your culinary & agricultural tourism related businesses. The following topics will be discussed in depth: Growing awareness of culinary & agritourism market trends, product development strategies and world-class case studies Leveraging statewide and regional resources in tourism marketing and business development […]

GOIN’ WITH THE FLO— 50+ VINTAGE TRAILERS RETURN TO FLORENCE THIS WEEKEND

 Florence is about to roll-retro for the second annual “Goin’ with the Flo Vintage Trailer Rally.” More than 50 kitschy-campy travel trailers will be staged for public viewing, free, at the Port of Siuslaw Campground in Old Town Florence beginning Saturday, October 19, from noon to 3:00 p.m. The event is all about sharing about and preserving the nostalgic road-tripping vacation era of the 1950s and 60s. Most of the trailers are restored to perfection, some will be in the restoration process, and some will be towed by cool classic vehicles from the trailer’s same era. Solarity Puppetry, a solar-powered literary vintage caravan featuring puppet shows, will present several times throughout the event. Visitors can also chat with the trailers’ owners who are happy to share about vintage trailer restoration, about this growing-in-popularity travel trend, and what it takes to keep these rare rigs on the road. “Last year was […]

Applications for the 113th Rhododendron Court are now available!

Applications for the 113th Rhododendron Court are now available through Siuslaw and Mapleton schools, the Florence Visitor Center and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. DOWNLOAD APPLICATION HERE: Senior Application and Junior Application. The Senior Court is open to high school senior girls and boys who exhibit exceptional character and are Siuslaw region residents. Queen Rhododendra and her Junior and Senior Princess Courts as well as the King of the Coast and his Senior Prince Court will reign over the 2020 Rhododendron Festival, act as the goodwill ambassadors for this event and make many promotional appearances between the start of the year and the annual Rhody Festival in May. 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. Applications for the Rhododendron Court […]

FLORENCE EVENTS CENTER HOSTS ANNUAL WIENER DOG RACES

Saturday, October 12, from noon to 3:00 p.m., sees the return of the festive Okto-Fur-Fest celebration at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St. The event features German-style food and drink, games, and prizes—and the hilariously exciting wiener dog races from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Mayor Joe Henry will ceremonially tap the first keg when the doors open at noon (21 and over only for adult beverages). Admission is $3. Limited front row VIP tickets for the races are $10 at the FEC box office. Proceeds from the dachshund derby will benefit the Florence Van Fans Cancer Van. More information is available at www.EventCenter.org or by calling the Florence Events Center at 541-997-1994. The event coincides with the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine & Chowder Trails and Great Glass Float Giveaway weekend featuring more than a dozen Oregon wineries and local chowder makers. Attendees can also search for […]