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New Banners Welcome Visitors to Oregon Coast's Florence

Published 05/15/23 at 6:22 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

New Banners Welcome Visitors to Oregon Coast's Florence

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(Florence, Oregon) – The next time you're meandering into the central Oregon coast town of Florence, you're going to want to look up. Florence is – in the truest sense – letting its banners fly. It has hoisted high some new means of greeting visitors and residents alike.

Designed by local artist and chamber official Mitzi Hathaway, the banners are part of a beautification process of Highway 101 that began a couple of years ago.

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Bettina Hannigan said these are in harmony with the 140 flower baskets that adorn Old Town and Highway 101, from the bridge to Highway 126.

“But the banner project goes farther, all the way up to Fred Meyer,” Hannigan said. “It’s also a way to bring a little joy, celebrate optimism and good will, give all drivers and pedestrians a positive impression of our community, and remind people of our biggest celebration of the year. And all of that helps commerce in our area.”

Hathaway's main gig is the Chamber’s director of tourism development and Rhododendron Festival coordinator. She created two different versions of the colorful banners, which were then arranged for printing by Stephanie Cunningham, owner of the Sign Stop in Florence.

From there, Bernie Cunningham of The Copier Doctor teamed up with city crews to hang 12 large banners touting the Rhody Fest and 30 smaller versions. They now brighten the skyline along Highway 101 as well as the entrance to Three Rivers Casino Resort.

The colors and design are fab, but behind it all is a serious brand of promotion: to help engage visitors. Tourism in the central Oregon coast burgh is a $200 million influx into the area’s economy, employing about 1400 of the 5100 local workers.

For more information on the 116th Annual Florence Rhododendron Festival, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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