CLAIM YOUR SHARE OF 662 MILLION IN FLORENCE

January 30 is National Plan Your Vacation Day, and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is ready to help. The event, promoted by Project Time Off who encourages everyone, on January 30, to take 30 minutes to plan a vacation. Nationally, more than 660 million vacation days go unused. “It is proven that those that take vacation time are happier, healthier, and more productive,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Vacation is essential to strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance and promote better health—and Florence should be at the top of your list of vacation destinations for many reasons.” “Our visitors, and locals too, enjoy the dunes for ATVs, sand rails, sandboarding, and hiking. They love that we have more than a dozen lakes within a dozen miles of town, as well as the Siuslaw River and the ocean. There’s fishing, […]

Rhododendron Court Announced!

This week, the Rhododendron Festival Committee announced the selections for the 2018 Rhododendron Court, comprised of a Senior Court of five princesses and two princes, and a Junior Court with five princesses. The Senior Court Princesses are Andrea Hernandez, Lainey Goss, Thelma Gentry, Alex Saindon and Denielle VanWinkle. The Senior Court Princes are Colby Waters Trent Reavis both from Siuslaw High School. Junior Court Princesses from Siuslaw Elementary are first-grader Alleya Thomas, second-grader Jasmine Krause, fourth-grader Kylee Stinger and fifth-grader Brittney Adams. Abigail Mendez, the third-grade princess is from Mapleton. “The students are all wonderful representatives of Florence and Mapleton,” said committee chairperson Jenna Bartlett. “These courts will be introduced at various functions during the next few months and represent Florence and the Rhododendron Festival throughout the year.” Members of the Junior and Senior Court were presented with roses by Florence Mayor Joe Henry and committee members Nancy Bosket, Jenna […]

TENTH ANNUAL SIUSLAW BUSINESS AWARDS BANQUET TO RECOGNIZE ACHIEVEMENT

“Our town buzzing with the spirit of revolutionizing, re-visioning and revitalizing,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director for the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “The 10th annual Siuslaw Awards are a great way to celebrate that.” The event, open to the public, takes place Wednesday, February 7, at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person or $320 for reserved tables for eight people, and are available online at FlorenceChamber.com/event/siuslaw-awards or at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce office 290 Highway 101 in Florence. “We invite Chamber members and the community at large to join us ‘Rhody Rendezvous-style’ as we celebrate at the Florence Event Center with live entertainment, a State of the Chamber address, a delicious dinner, and presentations by our community business leaders for a fabulous evening together,” says Terry Abeyta, event coordinator and […]

TWO FLORENCE LANDMARKS MAKE TOP-20 LIST

In a state that measures nearly 100,000 square miles, two of the top-20 landmarks to visit are within about 10 miles of each other in Florence. The Oregonian/OregonLive.com recently published their list of the 20 most iconic landmarks in Oregon. Author Jamie Hale defined “landmark” as any natural or manmade feature that helps define a place in Oregon, explaining that “If it’s worthy of a postcard, it’s a landmark.” Hale ranked Sea Lion Caves at number 16 writing, “It’s been built up and turned into a tourist attraction for the last 75 years, but there’s no denying the grandeur of the Sea Lion Caves. The towering sea cave just north of Florence is home to a Steller sea lion rookery, which generally stays inside the cave in the fall and winter, heading out to the rocky shores come spring and summer. “ At number nine on his list are the […]

FLORENCE HOLIDAY FESTIVAL BRINGS SANTA, SALES, MUSIC

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, November 25. Santa’s arrival, hayrides, lighted boats at the marina, and the official lighting of its Christmas tree will take place in Historic Old Town; and shops and galleries will be open for holiday shopping all around town. Many events will take place in Historic Old Town between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. “Rain or shine, it’s time to celebrate together!” says Bettina Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director. “Our Old Town area is getting decked-out for the holidays and we are excited to announce that The City of Florence has planted a gorgeous live tree at the Siuslaw Interpretive Park for our town to enjoy year after year. Come on out to be a part of the festivities!” At 3:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive via firetruck down Bay Street, courtesy of Siuslaw Valley Fire […]

ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF RODGER BENNETT ON DISPLAY AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER IN NOVEMBER

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local art exhibit each month. Their November display of local artistry features the photography of Rodger Bennett. “It’s an honor to have been chosen by the Chamber to hang my work in their lobby,” says Bennett. “I think that the Chamber’s monthly exhibits are a good offering of the Florence area’s arts community, and that gives credit to the Chamber, local artists, and the kinds of things that are unique to Florence. It also provides another attraction for locals and visitors alike to sample all the different kinds of arts and the artists behind them.” “I believe that quality art makes people feel better and that certainly is a growing attraction to Florence in itself,” he adds. Bennett’s exhibit includes nine self-framed prints. Several are printed on metal, a few are printed on foam board, and […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES THEME FOR 111TH RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the theme for its 111th annual Rhododendron Festival. “This year’s ‘Rhody Rendezvous’ theme intends to evoke a feeling of coming to Florence and meeting up with friends and family for a great time here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” says executive director Bettina Hannigan. “It’s our 111th year, making us about a year older than the Portland Rose Festival but a little younger than Pasadena, California’s Tournament of Roses,” adds Hannigan. “After that many years we’re pretty sure that several generations of Oregonians and other visitors have rendezvoused around our rhodies many times.” The festival takes place the third weekend of May each year, making it May 17-20, 2018. Traditionally the Davis Shows Carnival opens on Wednesday afternoon at the Port of Siuslaw parking lot, the Rhododendron Court coronation takes place Thursday evening at the Florence Events Center, and the town begins filling […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES WINNER OF 2017 PHOTO CONTEST

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has selected the winner of a $250 cash prize in its 2017 photo contest. The organization was looking for the best photos of the fun, frolic, and iconic buildings and scenery, from Oregon’s Coastal Playground—an area up to 30 miles in any direction of Florence. More than 120 photos were entered. Steffen Hefley of Covington, Washington, entered the winning photo of her son running along the beach, happily dragging a long bunch of seaweed behind him. Hefley’s mother lives in Florence and created the “Dancing With Sea Lions” statue on exhibit at Sea Lion Caves. Hefley’s photo will be featured in the Chamber’s Visitors’ Resource Guide and other printed marketing pieces, on the Chamber’s website, and in social media. A panel of Chamber members selected the winner. “Steffen’s photo really captured a fun “playground” moment and expresses how great of a destination Florence is […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES CHOWDER TRAIL WINNER

Florence recently hosted the seventh-annual Wine & Chowder Trail Weekend. The ballots have been counted and a crab chowder offered by Novelli’s Crab and Seafood, located on the docks in Old Town Florence, was the winner of the Chowder Trail voting by several hundred participants. Other competitors included Beachcomber Pub, Bridgewater Restaurant, Firehouse Restaurant, International C-Food Market, Lovejoys Teahouse, Maple Street Grille, and Surfside Restaurant at Driftwood Shores which was hosted at Beach House Gifts. Amber Novelli says her secret ingredients include a proprietary Italian seasoning blend and a select white wine. This was the first year she entered the contest. She and husband Kyle Novelli have been commercial fishers together for seven years, though Kyle is a lifelong fisherman. The Novellis currently serve Florence and Newport, though plan to move soon to live and work full time in Florence. They sell only what they catch, direct to customers at […]

FLORENCE MAKES YET ANOTHER “BEST OF” LIST

We all know how cool Florence is as a place to live and to vacation, but now Flights.com lists us as one of the “8 Coolest Cities You Must Experience for Yourself.” Flights.com touts itself as “the hip younger brother of Expedia,” the online travel agency that last year named Florence it’s most beautiful town in America. Jennifer Cuellar, writer for Flights.com, posts on her national blog “There are experiences we hold onto long after we travel. When it comes it our happiness levels, we can buy stuff, but studies show that experiences make us happier. And there’s no better way to experience life than to travel to new places. So the question is: Where should you travel next?” In her story Cuellar highlights the places that leave travelers surprised, intrigued, and marked by unexpected thrills. Her list included such famous—and out-of-the-way places—as Durham, North Carolina; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Beach […]