Ahhh, autumn on the Central Oregon Coast. Sunny weather, cooler temps, and a comforting bowl of clam chowder. Add a glass of your favorite varietal, sit back, and take in the scenic change of seasons in the air. If that sounds good to you, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has you covered with this year’s Wine & Chowder Trail experience. Enjoy a weekend of hearty chowders and tasty nibbles from local shops and restaurants, and samples of Oregon wines, October 7 and 8 in Historic Old Town Florence. In addition, the Chamber is bringing back the Great Glass Float Giveaway and live music at Gazebo Park in the heart of Old Town. Saturday, October 7, features the annual wine walk from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pick up your wine passport and commemorative glass for $5 and tasting tickets for $1 each at Waterfront Wine Store, 1300 Bay Street. Sample wines […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local art exhibit each month. Their September display of local artistry features a variety of pieces from members of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA). The artists exhibiting at the Chamber in September represent more than 100 members and sponsors, all who share in FRAA’s mission of supporting all the arts, and making Florence an arts destination. FRAA is a non-profit art center and gallery at 120 Maple Street in Florence. “FRAA’s display features some amazing local work and we’re honored to have it this month,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “The Chamber’s visitor center should be on everyone’s list of shops and galleries if they’re interested in viewing great local art, and we change it monthly.” The September-only exhibit includes Florence and coastal-themed pieces such as watercolor paintings by Kim D. Miller and Marsha […]


The Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health have announced that the Fifth Annual Rip City Relay will include a stop in Florence. On September 12, Florence will be the second stop on the weeklong journey around the state for a team of Trail Blazers and Moda ambassadors to engage with Trail Blazers fans, help build healthier communities, and showcase the Trail Blazers as “Oregon’s Team.” An entire day of events is scheduled in Florence. As part of the Trail Blazers’ and Moda’s partnership to showcase healthy and active living, events will focus on providing activities for kids, including school assemblies and basketball clinics. The visit will conclude with a ceremonial flag raising with city officials, followed by the Rip City Fair, a free community gathering featuring activities for all ages from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Port of Siuslaw property in Old Town Florence. “The Rip City Relay will […]


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 […]

Job Opening – Assistant Executive Director/Event Coordinator

JOB DESCRIPTION POSITION: Assistant Executive Director & Event Coordinator STATUS: Full time, Salary $35,000/year PROBATION: 90 Days REPORTS TO: Executive Director START DATE: ASAP JOB POSTING: The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce seeks a high energy individual with exceptional leadership and organizational skills to provide creative communications and marketing expertise while also coordinating a wide range of programs, activities and events. If multi-tasking, demanding schedules, and challenging situations fit your personality and talents, then we’ve got an environment you’ll love. Applicant must be a self-starter and proficient in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel). Ideally would also know Photoshop and Adobe Creative Suite software (InDesign, Illustrator). QUALIFICATIONS: • Experience with PC operations including email, e-newsletters, spreadsheets, database, word processing and publishing (Microsoft Word, Outlook, & Excel Spreadsheets preferable). • Preferable – knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite software (InDesign, Illustrator, etc.). • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Experience in marketing, sales, […]

FLORENCE REVVING UP FOR SEPTEMBER 8-10 Top Hot Rods, American Graffiti Movie and Tribute Cars, Pinewood Derby for Community, Community-Wide Garage Sale, Mrs. Lane County, Music, Food, and Prizes!

Florence is tuning-up for the 10th Annual Invitational Rods ’N Rhodies Car Show and Community-wide Garage Sale weekend September 8-10. The event, organized by the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, showcases up to 125 of the best high-end hot rods and custom cruisers from the west coast, dozens of private and commercial sales all over town, and other family-friendly events. “It’s a high-octane weekend at a spectacular time of year here in Florence,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “And this year’s American Graffiti theme will rev-up the weekend from start to finish.” “Rods valued in the range of $250,000 are regulars at this event,” adds Hannigan. “We’ll have the American Graffiti tribute cars, the famous “Copper Caddy,” a special screening of the movie with a costume contest, several show-and-shine locations, a classic cruise, vendor fair, poker walks, a Pinewood Derby open to the public, lots of prizes and awards, […]

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, […]