FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES 2017 PHOTO CONTEST, CASH PRIZE

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for the best photos of the fun, frolic, and iconic buildings and scenery, from Oregon’s Coastal Playground. “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.” Hannigan says the winner will collect a $250 cash prize, 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. “Tourism is our leading industry, the backbone of our economy and quality of life. It accounts for 1300 jobs and 127 million dollars flowing through our community,” says Hannigan. “The best photos will express how great a destination Florence is for vacationing. “So download your best photos from you smartphone or camera […]

“SMOKE REFUGEES” FIND HAVEN IN FLORENCE

In what may be a record-setting fire season in Oregon, residents in many parts of the state are getting smoked out. Desperate for fresh air, they’re willing to drive and stay a few days to escape the dangerous air quality and gritty particulate that gets into their eyes and lungs. Bettina Hannigan, executive director at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, and longtime volunteers in the Chamber’s Visitors’ Center, have noticed more people filtering into Florence, and out of the valleys. They’ve also see an increase in inquiries about Florence’s air quality. “We call them ‘smoke refugees,’” says Hannigan. “They’re drifting into the Florence area’s hotels and campgrounds to escape hazardous air all over the state.” “And there’s no fresher air than what comes in off the Pacific Ocean,” she notes. “We’re getting calls and visits from people rerouting their vacations. They’re contacting us from all up and down the […]

Chamber Announces New In-house Art Exhibit for August

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local artist each month. Their August display of local artistry features a variety of pieces from The River Gallery. “The River Gallery’s display features some amazing local work. People should make the Chamber’s Visitor Center a regular stop when traveling Florence’s art scene,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “ This month there are four oil paintings of coastal scenes by Gary O’Gara, three watercolor paintings of coastal scenes by John Bradley, and five photographs by Jan Jagoe—three different images of the Siuslaw River Bridge, one beach sunset, and one beautiful Oregon blue sky and clouds. “I feel very honored to have been selected for the August exhibition,” says Jan Jagoe, owner of The River Gallery. “The Chamber’s art exhibits help promote Florence galleries and local artists. Visitors will see the beauty of the Oregon Coast […]

Why You Have Access to All Of Oregon’s Beaches

On July 6, 1967, Oregon Governor Tom McCall signed the Oregon Beach Bill ensuring that Oregon’s 363 miles of public beaches would always be public. The bill claimed public ownership of land along the Oregon Coast from the water up to sixteen vertical feet above the low tide mark. This summer, communities up and down the Oregon coastline are commemorating the 50th anniversary of this historic beach legislation. But it all started way back in 1911. At that time governor Oswald West worked to reclaim Oregon’s beaches as public land. The legislature favored the privatization of the beaches, but West argued successfully for public ownership based on the need for transportation. By 1913 the Oregon legislature declared the entire length of the ocean shore from Washington to California as a state highway. Nevertheless, by 1967, an enterprising motel owner in Cannon Beach found a loophole and closed off part of […]

Backstreet Gallery Exhibits in Florence Visitors Center!

NEW ART DISPLAY AT FLORENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local artist each month. Their July display of local artistry features a variety of pieces from Backstreet Gallery. “Backstreet Gallery’s display fills the walls and counters of the Chamber’s Visitors Center with original paintings, photography, fiber art, pastels, ceramics, glass art, gourd enhancement, woodwork, and even books,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “The artists from Backstreet love to express their love of Florence and the Oregon Coast in their art work,” says Karen Nichols, Backstreet Gallery’s publicist. “To express this love, showing at the Chamber gives them a chance to promote tourism and economic growth in their community and brag a little about the beauty we have here in Florence through their art.” Backstreet Gallery features the work of local artists Stephanie Ames, Karen Nichols, Kristin Anderson, […]

I love our newly remodeled Visitors’ Center!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, has been reconfigured for your benefit as a visitor to Florence. We have a new area from which our volunteers (let’s hear it for volunteers!) can great you and help you quickly find the information you need for your visit or your move to Florence. The efficiency of space usage in our back office operations is improved too. But what I really am most proud of is that we can now feature a different local artist—or two—each month. Each month the Chamber will feature two- and three-dimensional exhibits by local artists and galleries. Our newest display of local artistry features the coastal photography of Jo Beaudreaux, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials in Florence. Included are scenic portraits of boats and bridges, nature’s textures, and some of the floral beauty of our area. And she’s really very good. Come […]

ORCAS!

These beautiful, majestic creatures have recently made yet another appearance in the Siuslaw River here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground. On June 17, local resident Dan Haberly caught an amazing one-minute, 20-seconds of video footage of six or seven orcas about a mile upriver from the mouth of the river. This is the second time a local has documented killer whales in our river this spring. During our 110th Annual Rhododendron Festival (during the third weekend of May each year) other photos showed the giant mammals at nearly the same spot. Last year, local resident Debra Heldt Cordone captured an orca breaching repeatedly in the very same area. We’re working on getting links for you, but you might have luck searching for “Orcas Florence Oregon” on YouTube or Google. Spring migrations bring gray whales in March, followed by dolphins, sharks, and orcas. Apparently word has also gotten out to the ocean […]

So, Florence, what do you do for an encore?

Man, that’s gonna be a hard act to follow! With the 110th annual Rhododendron Festival still looming large in the rear view mirror, what comes next? All the fun that Oregon’s Coastal Playground has to offer every summer—and even more events starting in July! Start with fun on our amazing sand dunes, browsing our delightful art galleries and antique shops, riverside shopping and dining, award-winning lodging, beachcombing, wine and craft beer tasting, fine entertainment, and long romantic beach walks at sunset. The next day you can enjoy world-class golf at two fun and challenging 18-hole courses, or visit the iconic Heceta Head Lighthouse, Sea Lion Caves, or Cape Perpetua. There’s always plenty of hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and crabbing too. After all, we are Oregon’s Coastal Playground! And that slogan promises a memorable experience for you, your family, and your friends. Not enough fun to entice you? Maybe you’ll want […]

NEW ART DISPLAY AT FLORENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local artist each month. Their newest display of local artistry features the coastal photography of Jo Beaudreaux, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials in Florence. Included are scenic portraits of boats and bridges, nature’s textures, and some of the floral beauty of our area.  Click here to see the exhibit details! “If you haven’t seen the changes in the Visitor Center yet, now is a great time to come by and see how we’ve re-purposed the space and feature local artist’s work,” says executive director Bettina Hannigan. “Throughout June you’ll see the works of local photographer and arts aficionado Jo Beaudreaux, and see how we’re greeting our out-of-area visitors and local residents to promote the Florence community.”  “Florence is a happening place and the arts are strong here,” says Beaudreaux. “By promoting the arts in our […]

Businesses – Get Ready to Rhody!

A message from the Rhododendron Court. To create excitement about Rhody weekend (it’s almost here!) and to help us raise scholarship money for our graduating senior court, we would like to paint pink, red and yellow Rhodies on business windows all over town. People will notice your windows, know you’re supporting the community and want to do business with you. We’ll generate anticipation about Rhody weekend, and you’ll be helping us immensely. We can paint 1 rhody for $50, 2 rhodies for $100, 3 rhodies for $150, 4 rhodies for $200, etc. The choice is yours! Contact the Chamber office at 541-997-3128 or Wendy Krause at 541-999-7765 Click HERE for details and to sign up.