Monday, June 5, 2023

Florence, Oregon Rhododendron Festival

This is the big event of the year and we arrived just in time for it even though we had no idea it was happening. :D  The four days of the festival included a car show; rhododendron show and judging; arts and crafts shows; parades; a chicken barbecue (sold out by noon so we missed it) and pancake breakfasts; and a carnival. Florence is a small city hemmed in by mountains and the Siuslaw River so when the population doubles during the festival parking can be a problem especially in the old section of the city.

We went to the car show which was a lot of fun with a mix of years, makes, and types of restoration. The car show was held at the middle school parking lot. The high school is just a few blocks north so that's where a lot of people park. The sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition.

We also went to the rhododendron show. Not very big or exciting - just a room full of rhododendron blossoms with award ribbons - but rhododendron fans were loving it. The show is held in the Florence Events Center which has a large parking lot but people were parking in it to go to the carnival so we had to park in the gravel lot across the street. It was difficult to get to the event center from that lot so parking in the Safeway lot one block east might work better.
We went to the carnival to check out the rides and get my favorite unhealthy fair food, a greasy, sugary funnel cake, but all they had were elephant ears and the line was too long.  :(  This isn't a large carnival because everything must fit in a 500'x 200' parking lot but they still managed to cram in over a dozen rides, three or four food booths, and several game booths. The parking lot has concrete curbs between the rows so we kept running into dead ends. Since carnival rides are not accessible, I do not recommend going. Parking is very limited and people were parking fairly far away.
For us the best event was the Grand Floral Parade on Sunday. We were surprised at how many floats were in the parade and a little disappointed that the floats weren't covered with rhododendrons. We went into town early to get a good parking spot along the parade route. The St Vincent De Paul Thrift Store was okay with people parking in their lot. It was good for us because it's elevated above the street so we had a good view.
Kids carrying banners got a free day pass for the fair rides. These two were disagreeing about how fast they should have been walking.
We stayed at the Three River Casino. Players Club members get one night free then earn 50 points to stay for free. Four night limit.  Festival  43.96715, -124.10408


No comments:

Post a Comment