Florence Chamber Announces 2022 Rhododendron Festival Theme

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The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of “Back in Bloom,” submitted by Howard
Cusack of Florence, as the theme for the 116th Rhododendron Festival May 18-22, 2022.

“The festival, with its carnival, Rhododendron Court, parades, classic car cruise, vendor fair, and flower show
serves as the unofficial kickoff to the summer tourist season here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” said Bettina
Hannigan, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We can’t wait to be ‘back in bloom’.”

“I am thrilled to make a contribution to the Chamber’s always superlative efforts to present an event that merges
Americana, culture, art, and commerce with our amazing and unique floral landscape,” said Cusack. “I learned
very early in my career as a concert producer that that the keys to a successful show are a great lineup and a
relevant branding name. For example, in the summer of 1976, during our country’s bicentennial, I produced an
event featuring Electric Light Orchestra, Steve Miller Band, Heart, J Geils, and several others. We called it “The
Freedom Jam” and it caught the attention of a nation and drew 80,000 people from all over.”

Cusack explained that “In this case, I tried to create a slogan that is simple, direct, immediate, and memorable.
There’s no doubt that the community has sorely missed both the event and the celebration of our legendary
rhodys so I was after something that might be a reminder of the rebirth of the festival.”

“Howie’s is a great theme to signify the return of the Florence Rhododendron Festival after having to cancel it,
twice, for the first time since WWII,” Hannigan added. “I think it will lend itself to lots of fun and creativity for our
parades, civic displays, auxiliary events, and especially our marketing.”

“Generations of families have enjoyed the annual Florence Rhododendron Festival by attending, enjoying the
Davis Shows carnival, exhibiting their rhodys, showing off their classic cars and motorcycles, being in the parades,
and shopping and dining in Old Town and all around town,” added Hannigan. “It’s a family tradition, an Oregon

The Florence Rhododendron Festival is Oregon’s second-oldest floral festival, bested only by a year by the
Portland Rose Festival, and sees thousands of visitors from around the state and across the country.
For more information on the annual Florence Rhododendron Festival, including applications for the
Rhododendron Court, exhibitor space, parade entries, or to volunteer on the Chamber’s Rhody Fest committee,
contact event coordinator Mitzi Hathaway at Events@FlorenceChamber.com or 541-997-3128.

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