Rhody Festival parade entry deadline extended

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The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has extended the deadline for parade applications through May 10.

Applications are available at FlorenceChamber.com/rhody-festival, at the Chamber’s Visitors Center, 290 Highway 101, or can be emailed to [email protected]

The entry fee is $20.

“This is our 110th Grand Floral Parade,” said Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “We’re looking to entrants to really step up this year and rock the rhodies, even if they have to use artificial ones, make them out of paper, or paint them on their floats.”

“It’s a festival and we want it to be truly festive.”

The parade, one of the longest-running events of its kind on the West Coast, begins at noon on Sunday, May 21, at 27th Street and Highway 101. The parade follows the highway to and through Historic Old Town.

The Chamber is also recruiting volunteer banner carriers, ages 9 to 17, for the parade. Each youth volunteer will receive a ticket to the Davis Shows Carnival.

Volunteer applications, as well as the official Rhododendron Festival poster and schedule of events, are available at FlorenceChamber.com/rhody-festival.

“Plans are falling quickly into place and Florence is ‘Always Ready to Rhody,’” said Hannigan. “The Siuslaw River Coast Guard Station is celebrating its centennial year of service in Florence, and they are our inspiration for this year’s slogan.

“The Coast Guard's slogan is ‘Semper Paratus,’ or ‘Always Ready,’ and they will be our grand marshal for the big parade.”

The Davis Shows Carnival runs from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, through Sunday, May 21, at 8 p.m., on the Port of Siuslaw grounds at the east end of Historic Old Town Florence.

Discount tickets are available now through Wednesday, May 17, at 1 p.m., at FlorenceChamber.com.

Pre-purchasing saves buyers $6 on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s admission, and $7 on Friday through Sunday admission prices.

Saturday and Sunday bring the Maple Street vendor fair to Historic Old Town from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, Three Rivers Casino and Resort will host its annual “Let It Ride” motorcycle show and vendor fair, and the Reel Rally Poker Run.

At the Florence Events Center (FEC), Queen Rhododendra and the King of the Coast, along with their court, will be installed at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 18.

Tickets are $10, and $6 for ages 18 and under.

The American Rhododendron Society flower show, the Florence Regional Arts Alliance fine art and crafts show and sale, and the Jazz Kings concert all take place at the FEC throughout the weekend.

The 39th annual Rhody Run is 9 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the FEC.

Also on Saturday, the 25th annual Rhody Classic Car Show ’n’ Shine runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Grocery Outlet, with the Coast Radio Classic Car Cruise taking place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. through Historic Old Town.

“There's always so much to do in and around Florence, and Rhody Weekend adds even more fun to this place we call Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” said Hannigan.

A full listing of events is available at FlorenceChamber.com.

For more information, contact Rosa Solano, event coordinator, at [email protected] or call 541-997-3128.

The Rhododendron Festival is May 19 to 21.