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Chowder and Wine Trail, Glass Floats Return to Oregon Coast's Florence in Feb

Published 01/22/22 at 5:30 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Chowder and Wine Trail, Glass Floats Return to Oregon Coast's Florence in Feb

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(Florence, Oregon) – Normally, the central Oregon coast town of Florence is swarming with chowder, wine and glass float activity each October, but this year's pandemic and other concerns caused it to be moved. And that move makes it all right around the corner.

The artful, flavorful Florence Wine & Chowder Trails returns to the central Oregon coast town February 18 to 20, 2022, to warm up peoples' palates on Presidents' Day weekend.

This tasty tradition, along with its Glass Float Hunt, is a large community-wide tasting and treasure hunt with attendees from all over the west coast.

On the menu you'll find seafood chowders in all kinds of flavors, including crab and clam, dished out by local experts along with a nice variety of Oregon wines and the knowledgeable presence of the winemakers. You can expect to find about a dozen different samples of each. Then, joining the culinary fray will be a sizable glass float hunt from Friday through Sunday, with as many as 30 sites around cozy Florence.

Saturday will feature wine tasting at several indoor venues in and around Historic Old Town from noon to 5:00 p.m. Commemorative wine glasses and tasting tickets are available at FlorenceChamber.com under the Events tab and will be on sale at Gazebo Park in (Corner of Bay St. & Laurel) Historic Old Town the day of the event. Glasses are $5 and tasting tickets are $1 each.

Sunday will feature chowder tasting at restaurants and galleries in, or a centralized location near, Historic Old Town Florence from noon to 3:00 p.m. Chowder tasters can get a ballot Friday at the Visitors Center (290 Hwy 101) and at Gazebo Park Saturday and Sunday to vote for the region's best chowder. The ballot/maps are $5 each.

Glass float searchers can get a passport and map to approximately three dozen sites to find the artful objects, “hidden” in plain sight, and get the merchant's stamp. The more stamps a searcher collects, the better their chances of taking home a glass float. Passports will be available online at FlorenceChamber.com and at the Visitors Center, 290 Highway 101. All the glass floats will be given away Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Old Town.

New this year is the free A Taste of Art and Wine event presented by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance at the Florence Events Center on Saturday, February 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This portion of the overall event will pair wine from regional wineries with a juried art show of 2D and 3D artwork with exhibits of local art and craftsmanship. Exhibits will feature demonstrations and works of art in wood; creative art and growing ideas for the garden; fiber creations like hand woven clothing, felted and quilted items, and wearable knit and crochet items; glass works of art; jewelry in various media; pottery, paintings, and more.

To receive their commemorative wineglass, tasting tickets, chowder ballot, and glass float passport, participants will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccinations or a negative test from within the previous three days at the registration table at Gazebo Park in Historic Old Town Florence. Full enforcement will be up to each tasting site so Hannigan asks compassionate compliance and a positive attitude toward merchants, servers, and other attendees.

“February is actually a fabulous time to visit Florence for this kind of event,” said Florence Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Bettina Hannigan. “Locals all know that our weather is often better than the forecasters say and much milder in February than what our neighbors in the Willamette Valley or Central Oregon get. Plus, hotel rooms are more affordable than summer or fall and restaurants are even more eager to serve our visitors.”

“Specific times and locations are still being finalized but we wanted to get the word out so people can plan early to book their rooms and make their plans,” she added.

For more information on the event at the Florence Area Chamber of commerce visit FlorenceChamber.com, watch their Facebook page at Florence Oregon Coast, or call 541-997-3128. For more information on A Taste of Art and Wine Festival, contact Claudia Brown, FRAA Event Chair at 541-902-1933.

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