Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Rhododendron Fest Returns to Oregon Coast in May, 116 Years in Florence

Published 12/13/21 at 6:02 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Rhododendron Fest Returns to Oregon Coast in May, 116 Years in Florence

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Florence, Oregon) – A much-beloved tradition on the central Oregon coast will make its way back to Florence in May, with the return of the 116th Rhododendron Festival on May 18 – 22 after being canceled and reshuffled during the last two seasons because of the pandemic.

Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Chamber, said the festival will be back in full gear with the carnival, Rhododendron Court, parades, classic car cruise, vendor fair and flower show.

“We can't wait to be ‘back in bloom',” she said.

This year, Florence held a contest to figure out its theme. “Back in Bloom” was the winning entry, submitted by Howard Cusack of Florence.

“I am thrilled to make a contribution to the Chamber's always superlative efforts to present an event that merges Americana, culture, art, and commerce with our amazing and unique floral landscape,” said Cusack. “I learned very early in my career as a concert producer that that the keys to a successful show are a great lineup and a relevant branding name. For example, in the summer of 1976, during our country's bicentennial, I produced an event featuring Electric Light Orchestra, Steve Miller Band, Heart, J Geils, and several others. We called it The Freedom Jam and it caught the attention of a nation and drew 80,000 people from all over.”

In this case, Cusack explained he'd tried to create a slogan that was simple, direct and immediate – as well as memorable.

“There's no doubt that the community has sorely missed both the event and the celebration of our legendary rhodys so I was after something that might be a reminder of the rebirth of the festival,” Cusack said.

The Florence Rhododendron Festival was canceled for the first time since World War II during the pandemic, something Hannigan says makes Cusack's pick that much more potent of a message.

“I think it will lend itself to lots of fun and creativity for our parades, civic displays, auxiliary events, and especially our marketing.” she said.

Generations of families both local and from around the state have made the annual Florence Rhododendron Festival their pilgrimage by attending. There have been the Davis Shows carnivals, people exhibiting their rhodys and showing off their classic cars and motorcycles, and those who were a part of the parades.

“It's a family tradition, an Oregon institution,” Hannigan said.

The Florence Rhododendron Festival is Oregon's second-oldest floral festival, bested only by a year by the Portland Rose Festival, and sees thousands of visitors from around the state and across the country.

For more information on the annual Florence Rhododendron Festival, including applications for the Rhododendron Court, exhibitor space, parade entries, or to volunteer on the Chamber's Rhody Fest committee, contact event coordinator Mitzi Hathaway at [email protected] or 541-997-3128.

Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours



More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food
Holiday happs from Ilwaco up through Westport. Washington coast events
Famed Holiday Show Tradition Back on Oregon Coast, at Newport Performing Arts...
The Christmas Show! is finally back, Dec. 16 and 17. Newport events
Cyber Monday for Oregon Coast Too: Giving the Beach for Christmas
Give a night or two at the coast, or books, hoodies, T's. weather
Orcas Spotted Again on N. Oregon Coast - First Time This Pod Recorded Here
A pod of four were photographed on November 23. Marine sciences
Three Much-Loved Oregon Coast Landmarks Gone So Long They're Forgotten
Now a faint blip in the historical record books, but once extremely popular. Depoe Bay, Bandon, Newport
All Aboard! Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad Goes All Christmasy
Rides take to the rails every Sunday and Saturday until December 18. Cannon Beach events, Garibaldi events, Rockaway Beach events
Different Way of Looking at Lincoln City: Extraordinary Oregon Coast Details
So much Lincoln City, so little time
Fiery Scottish / Irish Christmas Show Comes to South Oregon Coast's Coos Bay
A sizzling blend of Celtic cultures in music happens Dec 16. South coast events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted