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Fall Fun in Florence: Wine & Chowder Trail, Okto-fur Fest, and More!

“Fall in Florence is a deliciously thrilling time,” says Florence Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Bettina Hannigan. “On October 11, 12 and 13 we add the flavor palate of Oregon’s finest wines and chowders to all the fun activities, There’s color, texture, and a unique seasonality in the air. You can see why we call this place Oregon’s Coastal Playground.”

This weekend, a bunch of fall fun is happening here in Florence! Come on down to experience all the fall festivities Florence has to offer. See below for events (note: excerpts taken from the Florence Chamber of Commerce event press release):

The Wine Trail

Saturday, October 12, from noon to 5:00 p.m. Participants can purchase a commemorative wine glass ($5) and tasting tickets ($1 each) at Gazebo Park at the corner of Bay St. and Laurel St., then stroll scenic Bay Street and surrounding area to sample wines from some of Oregon’s best wineries (21 and over only).

This year, wineries include:

Bradley Vineyards
Capitello Wines
Gelardi Vineyards
High Pass Winery
Iris Vineyards
J. Scott Cellars
LaVelle Vineyards
Morgan Meadows Vineyards
Noble Estate Vineyard & Winery
Sarver Winery
Summerfield Vineyards

…Plus a variety of organic Oregon wines at event cosponsor Bodega Wine Store in Old Town.

The Chowder Trail

Sunday, October 13, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Chowder contestants will include about a dozen leading restaurants from around Florence. Those without an Old Town storefront will set up at Gazebo Park or in the shops and galleries along Bay St. A passport with the chowder tasting locations and ballot, and map of the glass float locations, is $5.

This year’s chowder contestants include:

Bay Street Grille
Off Bay Street Bistro
Bay View Bistro
Jerry’s Place
Homegrown Public House
Surfside Restaurant from Driftwood Shores

Glass Float Scavenger Hunt

Beautiful glass float

Beginning Friday and continuing throughout the weekend visitors can venture around town in search of hand-blown glass floats produced by local artisans. More than 20 glass floats will be hidden in plain sight in local shops and galleries. Entrants in the search can tell the store’s clerk where they spotted a float and have their passport map validated. The more floats a person finds, the better the chance of taking one home.

Tickets, glasses, ballots, and passport maps will be available at the trailheads at Gazebo Park on Bay St. and Laurel St. in Old Town Florence.

Circles in the Sand

Courtesy Susan Dimock/Circles in the Sand

Driftwood Shores Resort and Conference Center, and Sand Master Park, will host the second annual Circles in the Sand by sand artist Denny Dyke (recently seen on the nationally broadcast NBC Nightly News), October 12 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., on Heceta Beach. Dyke will carve a giant labyrinth on the beach beginning at 3:00 p.m. with completion expected at 5:00 p.m. in time for a sunset walk through the drawing.

Okto-fur Fest

Courtesy of Suislaw News

The Okto-Fur-Fest celebration is the epitome of fall fun. It’s happening this year at the Florence Events Center. The event features German-style food and drink, games, and prizes—and the exciting wiener dog races from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Mayor Joe Henry will ceremonially tap the first keg when the doors open at noon.

Admission is $3 for the wiener dog races. Limited front row VIP tickets for the races are $10 at the FEC box office. Proceeds from the races will benefit the Florence Van Fans Cancer Van, a free service that transports those with cancer in Florence to Eugene for treatment.

And remember, if you need a place to stay to fully experience all the fall fun weekend book a stay at River House Inn today! You’ll want to hurry, our rooms are filling up fast for these events!


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