Florence Chamber announces 2023 Rhododendron Festival theme and logo winner

Feb. 23, 2023 — After announcing the theme for the resurrected Florence Rhododendron Festival, “Rip Roarin’ Rhodies,” the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has selected a logo for the event.

The design, crafted by Shaun Brown of the Florence Surf Shop (inside The Laughing Crab Gallery and Tasting Room, 1341 Bay Street) depicts a classic mid-20th century black pickup truck with a flame-embellished paint job, surrounded by multicolored rhododendrons — and the Heceta Head lighthouse.

This is Brown’s second win in the last five years.

“This year’s logo is bright, it’s beautiful and it really pops,” said Bettina Hannigan, Chamber President and CEO, “just like our annual event that has drawn generations of attendees.”

Back in January, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of “Rip Roarin’ Rhodies,” submitted by Brian Sandahl of Florence, as the theme for the 117th Rhododendron Festival May 17-21, 2023. “Brian’s is a great theme to signify the robust celebratory nature of the Florence Rhododendron Festival,” Hannigan added.

“The festival, with its carnival, Rhododendron Court, parades, classic car cruise, vendor fair and flower show serves as the unofficial kickoff to the summer tourist season here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” said Hannigan. “It’ll be another rip roarin’ time as we celebrate our local natural beauty and floral superstars. We invite everyone to come enjoy the pageantry of the second-longest running floral festival in Oregon.”

The festival opens the Saturday prior to the third weekend in May (May 13) with the coronation of Queen Rhododendra, the King of the Coast and their royal court at the Florence Events Center; and with the Davis Shows Carnival at the Port of Siuslaw property in Old Town. Saturdays traditionally feature the annual 5K Rhody Run and Walk, the junior parade and kids’ activities, the annual Rhody Classic Car Show ‘n’ Shine, and the Coast Radio Classic Car Cruise through Old Town. Sunday brings the grand floral parade down Highway 101 and into Historic Old Town at noon. Throughout the event there will be a vendor’s fair in Old Town, a spectacular rhododendron show at the Florence Events Center, along with live music, art and other festivities all over town.

“Generations of families have enjoyed the annual Florence Rhododendron Festival by attending, enjoying the Davis Shows carnival, exhibiting their rhododendrons, showing off their classic cars and motorcycles, being in the parades, and shopping and dining in Old Town and all around town,” added Hannigan. “It’s a family tradition — an Oregon institution.”

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 exhibitor space, parade entries or to volunteer on the Chamber’s Rhody Fest committee, contact event coordinator/director for tourism development Mitzi Hathaway at [email protected] or 541-997-3128.