Rhody Court to be ‘Back in Bloom’ in 2022


Students at Mapleton and Siuslaw schools encouraged to take place in century-old tradition

Dec. 11, 2021 — The Rhododendron Court took a year hiatus in 2021 and is coming “Back in Bloom” more boldly than ever. On Thursday, Dec. 9, both Siuslaw and Mapleton high schools received information and inspiration about this year's court opportunity. Students in their senior year are encouraged to apply for their chance to be a member of the Rhody Senior Court and compete for the chance to be Queen Rhododendra or King of the Coast. 

Applications are now open for the 116th Senior and Junior Rhododendron Court. Deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 17. Senior Court applications are available digitally (bit.ly/2022RhodyCourtApplication) or via paper available at the Florence Area Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce Office, 290 Highway 101. Junior Court paper applications are available at the Siuslaw and Mapleton elementary school offices and at the Florence Visitors Center.

The mission of the Rhododendron Court program is to provide scholarships for higher education, to offer networking and mentoring opportunities to outstanding young women and men in a program that perpetuates an appreciation for Rhododendron Festival history and tradition.
For this year, the Court Leadership Team consists of a dynamic group of dedicated community members including: Kay King, Jennifer Waggoner, Vanessa Buss, Tamara Cole, Jenna Bartlett, Wendy Krause, Jo Beaudreau and Kim Erickson. Team members have been working since October to make sure their and the community’s vision of the Rhododendron Court is brought to reality. 

The Rhododendron Festival High School Court is comprised of five outstanding ladies and five outstanding men who are selected from Siuslaw and Mapleton high schools. The Junior Court is comprised of one student from grades 1 to 5. 

Queen Rhododendra and her Junior and Senior Princess Courts as well as the King of the Coast and his Senior Prince Court will reign over the 2022 Rhododendron Festival. They act as the goodwill ambassadors for this event and make many promotional appearances between the start of the year and the annual Rhody Festival in May.

All Senior Court applicants will go through an interview process with five community members for the selection process in early January. Rhododendron Court members will be announced to the community in January.

After being selected, Court Members will make appearances at community events, meet with business leaders and speak at youth organizations and civic groups. These ambassadors for the Rhododendron Festival will also receive one-on-one mentorship and will showcase their talents in the Rhododendron Coronation on Thursday, May 19, 2022, where the seniors will compete for the title of Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast!

Queen Rhododendra and the King of the Coast, along with their Senior Court, will be awarded scholarships on the night of the coronation.

Those interested in this once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of Florence history should complete their application by Dec. 17. Applications are available through Siuslaw and Mapleton schools, the Rhododendron Court Facebook page, the Florence Area Visitor Center and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce website, florencechamber.com.

For more information, contact Krause at 541-999-7765.

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