The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and its members welcome shoppers to come find the socially-distanced, properly-masked, Sami the Sea Lion in businesses all over town. July 31 marked the return of the fuzzy pinniped, this time with a COVID-19 mask and a summertime bow in her fur. The six-inch plush sea lions are provided by the event’s main sponsor, Sea Lion Caves. “Sami is back in time to have some summer fun,” says Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “This summer we’re calling it ‘The Social Distancing Search for Sami’ and it is sponsored by Sea Lion Caves.” Based on last winter’s successful Sea Lion on A Shelf trail, shoppers can venture to any of nearly 30 participating Chamber member’s businesses and get their passports stamped when they spot Sami. A minimum of 15 stamps are necessary to enter for a chance to […]


“Based on the most current regulations from Governor Kate Brown’s ‘stay home, stay healthy’ measures we must cancel our annual Independence Day celebration,” said Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thankfully, our contracts with the fireworks technicians, and the Port of Siuslaw for the launch site, are in place for next year.” Chambers of commerce and other organizations across the state are taking major economic hits from canceling summer and fall events. Some are even canceling events through the end of the year. “We waited as long as we could to make this decision in hopes of hosting this fun day of family events and fireworks, but given the timeline to put this event together—with the producers of the pie- and watermelon-eating contests and the providers of the bounce houses, music, and fireworks—there is no way to plan for it with any certainty,” Hannigan explained. […]

Are the Dunes, Parks, & Campgrounds Open? Maybe So – Maybe No. CHECK BEFORE GOING

Things are changing daily – here are the links for our most popular US, State & County Parks. Stay up on what’s open here – US Forest Service Parks, State Parks, Beaches & Dunes and  Lane County Parks. Many Florence Area shops, restaurants, RV Parks and hotels are open. Please remember that Phase I: Non-essential travel is not allowed and it’s still important to stay local. Continue to avoid overnight and non-essential trips, including recreational day trips to destinations outside of your community. Those who reside in a county that has not reopened are asked to be thoughtful and stay home. Essential travel: Generally, essential travel refers to going distances for work, caring for family or other vulnerable populations, or the need to acquire essential items like food and supplies, medical care and prescriptions, emergency services, shelter and legal or financial necessities. Non-essential travel: Overall, non-essential travel is not crucial to the functioning […]


113TH ANNUAL FLORENCE RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL IS ON(LINE)! Virtual Parade and 5K, Photo Contest Announced The City of Florence and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that they are moving the “Blast From the Past”-themed 113th Rhododendron Festival Grand Floral Parade online. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Chamber announced April 1 that this year would mark the first time since WWII that the actual event has been cancelled. In addition, the Chamber, in partnership with Three Rivers Casino, is hosting an online “Blast From The Past” exhibit of photos contributed by the public of recent and historic Rhododendron Festivals. Florence Habitat for Humanity will host the annual Rhody Run as a virtual event and fundraiser. The virtual parade will premiere on Facebook on Sunday, May 17, at noon. PARADE Organizers are asking community members, organizations, and local businesses to upload short videos or photos for them to edit into […]

Blast From the Past – Rhody Days Photo Contest

Share your favorite Rhody Days photo memories – both old and new and enter win! Just because we had to cancel the Rhododendron Festival, doesn’t mean that we can’t have a blast while remembering the past! Winners will be chosen from every decade. Those photos will then move on to final judging, to determine the overall best “Blast from the Past” photo. To enter our contest, post your photos here by: Thursday, May 14th at 5 pm. We look forward to reminiscing with you! Submit your photo here.

ReOpening Oregon: What Small Businesses & Startups Need to Know

Lane Economic Community & Economic Development is partnering with Oregon RAIN and Senator Roblan’s Office to host a webinar Friday at noon on ReOpening Oregon: What Small Businesses & Startups Need to Know.  The panel will feature: Senator Roblan | District 9 – Oregon Coast Leah Horner | Regional Solutions Director, Jobs & Economy Policy Advisor for the Governor’s Office David Gerstenfeld | Director, Oregon Unemployment Insurance Division Erin Reynolds | City Manager, City of Florence TBD | Oregon Employment Department Please register for Reopening Oregon: What Small Businesses & Startups Need to Know on May 8, 2020 12:00 PM PDT here.