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Oregon Coast Event Promises an Exploding Whale-of-a-Good Time in Nov.

Published 10/25/22 at 5:54 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Event Promises an Exploding Whale-of-a-Good Time in Nov.

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(Florence, Oregon) – You could say it's a “whale of a holiday” on the Oregon coast. (Photo of Florence area Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

That time of year again approaches when people all around the world still say “Happy Exploding Whale Day,” in a kooky tongue-in-cheek reference to one of Oregon's most notorious goof-ups. On November 12, it will have been 52 years since what was then called the Oregon Highway Department attempted to get rid of a whale carcass at Florence in a most unique and unsuccessful way.

Each year (at least in recent decades), the central Oregon coast town of Florence pays homage to the comical footage, which for many years was the most watched clip on the internet. 1970 was that infamous year: a cold but blue sky day in November when whale guts literally rained down on onlookers.

Once again, Florence returns to its goofy heritage, with the Exploding Whale Memorial celebration planned for Saturday, November 12th from 12 noon - 8 p.m. at Homegrown Public House and Brewery, 24 Laurel Street in historic Florence Old Town. The pandemic shut down the last two annual events, especially the oh-so-anticipated 50th anniversary.

The celebration is open house style, family friendly, a little quirky – and heaps of fun.

Yet there's stuff to be learned at this whale of a whoop-de-doo. From noon to 3 p.m., tidepool expert Jamie Kish will be there to talk about local marine efforts and natural habitats. Kish is from the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve Collaborative. You'll also hear from representatives from the Elakha Alliance, the group that's trying to bring sea otters back to the Oregon coast, discussing their restoration plans.

At 2 p.m., there will be a public toast to the whale and its special, humorous part in Oregon coast history. Also on hand them will be Mermaid Shannon, who will be giving a reading and signing of her children’s book, Turtles want Teammates. Copies will also be for sale. You'll have the opportunity to take photos with the mermaid.

Florence’s official-unofficial whale mascots, Flo and Rence, will be present to visit and take photos with as well.

At 6 p.m., you'll get another chance to toast the Exploding Whale.

“All are encouraged to bring small offerings and homages to the whale to be placed at the art installation on the east side of Homegrown,” said organizers. “The exhibit is meant to be fanciful, fun and will naturally evolve throughout the day into the evening when it glows with lights and the reflections of the colorful contributions. Wearing whaley fun costumes is encouraged too.”


Exploding Whale Memorial Park in Florence, courtesy photo

The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum across the street from the brewery will be having an Exploding Whale exhibit, open from noon to 4 p.m. It's at at 278 Maple Street in Florence. The exhibit has actual whale bones from the honored whale, plus the museum is crammed full of other interesting Florence historical displays.

Check out the Whale Trail Map of Florence businesses offering activities and what organizers called “whaley cool items” for sale to commemorate the occasion. That's right, actual Exploding Whale swag could be yours. The Whale Trail map and ongoing whale event news is posted on the event website, www.xplodingwhale.com, on their Facebook page @ILoveForence97439 and will also be available at the event.

For more event scoop or to join The Whale Trail contact BeauxArts Fine Art Materials at 541-991-8213 Email WhaleGoBoom97439@gmail.com

However, there's an unusual prologue that goes with this tale. Florence's Exploding Whale was not the first in Oregon. See Warrenton Had an 'Exploding Whale' 30 Years Before Central Oregon Coast

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Exploding Whale Memorial Park in Florence, courtesy photo

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