116th Rhododendron Festival a Rip Roarin’ good time


Photos by Zac Burtt, Jean Lee and Jeanna Petersen/Siuslaw News

May 24, 2023 — The 116th Rhododendron Festival was May 18-21 and fun was had by all. People flocked from all over to enjoy Florence’s beautiful spring rhodies, Davis Shows Carnival, the Rhododendron Show at the FEC, Rods “N” Rhodies Show and Shine and various festivities all over the Florence area.
The grand finale of the event was the Grand Floral Parade on Sunday which was grand marshaled by Mike Bones, a local rhododendron enthusiast and long-time promoter of all things great about the Siuslaw region.
Awards were given for the best parade entries.
The Mayor’s Award went to Florence Habitat for Humanity. Florence Food Share took the Queen’s Award. Hyak was the King’s Choice for top float. Florence Elks Lodge # 1858 won the Grand Marshall Award.
The Parade Judges Awards were, as follows: Best Float : Rhododendron Festival Senior Court, Best Non-commercial Entry: Florence Habitat for Humanity. Best Equestrian Unit: Comunidad Latina - Springfield. Best Novelty: Jeeps R Us.
“Special recognition to the Siuslaw High School Marching Band and Cheer team and Conestoga Middle School Marching Band who traveled here all the way from Beaverton, Oregon,” said Mitzi Hathaway, Florence Chamber of Commerce Director of Tourism Development. “We appreciate you!”

Check out the May 26 edition of the Siuslaw News for tons of photos from the entire weekend of Rhody Days revelry.

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