We’re going to take a short break from Windy Bay to visit the upcoming 108th Rhododendron Festival in Florence on the coast. A short 45 minute drive from Umpqua River Haven, Florence is home to this festival that starts this year on May 15th.
The above photo was taken in our park, Umpqua River Haven. There are many varieties of “Rhodies” and Oregon has them all. Wild ones are usually pink and do grow wild along the coast road near Florence. But you will find them planted everywhere.
When we first came to Oregon and visited the coast, we didn’t know what those beautiful flowers were. But we soon discovered they were wild “Rhodies” on the coast road just south of Windy Bay.
At the Florence Events Center (more about Florence in another blog) gardeners display the Rhododendrons they have grown in competition. The usual award categories are in evidence and it is major eye candy to visit during the festival competition.
Florence is a busy place during Rhody Days and Old Town on the Siuslaw River is host to a variety of visitors. Not to be missed are the Rhody Run Bikers. Bikers from all over the country arrive and park their Harley’s on the streets of Old Town. It’s quite a sight!
There are a variety of events and activities including the parade, street vendor fair, 5K run, carnival and more. You can meet Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast. Our personal favorite event is the Classic Car Show. Yummy cars from all over are parked in the big parking lot on Highway 101 in the center of town. Our friend, Myron Aho, started the Rhody Days Car Show and it has grown big over the years. Bring your Classic Car and join in the fun!
Come stay with us at Umpqua River Haven away from the crowds (hard to get a room on the coast at this time anyway) and enjoy Rhody Days in Florence the weekend of May 15 – 17!