Wine, art and jazz festival launches in Florence

Florence Fest '17 creates a delicious affair for wine and music lovers

Seven jazz acts, including rapidly-rising international star Halie Loren, will complement 12 wineries of regional and global renown, and an invitational juried art show, to lure aficionados of discerning tastes to Florence, Oregon, for FlorenceFest ‘17.

The two-day event takes place at the 21,000-square-foot Florence Events Center from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.

Pre-event tickets are $20 online at or $25 at the door. Admission is restricted to adults 21 and over.

“We’re excited to launch this event in Florence for the wine, art and jazz aficionados throughout Oregon,” says organizer Jon Thompson. “The quality of the wine, art, food and music is critical to the overall success of the event and will appeal to a discerning audience. We know attendees will be delighted.”

Wineries from the Columbia Gorge to the Rogue Valley will offer free tastings as part of the admission price. Wineries include Gelardi Vineyard/Poco Collina, Hanson Vineyards, Benton — Lane Winery, Panache Cellars, Youngberg Hill, Iris Vineyards, Rivers Edge, Season Cellars, Cathedral Ridge, Naked Winery, Sineann and J Scott Cellars. Wineries will sell their product by the glass or bottle.

On Friday, The Michael Anderson Jazz Trio and Michelle and Dave Van Handel, will precede headliner Toni Glausi & his 9-piece Funk Band.

On Saturday, headliner Halie Loren and her quintet will take the stage after performances by The Paul Biondi & Gus Russell Quartet, The Miles To Go Quartet and Don Latarski & D’Trio.

The juried art show and sale, conducted by Robert Canaga — artist, appraiser and gallery owner/curator — will include 60-plus finalists out of more than 100 entries from Seattle to Bandon, including many Lane County locals. Prizes range up to $1000. The event is coordinated by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance.

Thompson says that throughout the two days, a tapas-style menu will be available from a variety of providers.

“Florence is so centrally located on the coast, and springtime is amazing here,” adds Thompson, owner of Coast Radio KCST/KCFM in Florence, which is producing FlorenceFest ‘17.

“Florence bills itself as ‘Oregon’s Coastal Playground,’ and this event at this venue is a great part of all the fun Florence has to offer. We want to fill the town with people who appreciate fine art, fine wine, and international caliber jazz,” Thompson said.

For more information, visit www. or call Coast Radio at 541-997-9136 or the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-997-3128.