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Florence Wine & Chowder Trail Weekend Expands Offerings, Names Wineries

Florence’s annual Wine & Chowder Trail, and Great Glass Float Giveaway, returns to Historic Old Town from October 11 to 13. 

The Wine Trail is 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, Capitello, Gelardi, High Pass Winery, Iris Vineyards, J. Scott Cellars, LaVelle, Morgan Meadows Vineyards, Noble Estates Winery, Sarver Winery, and Summerfield Vineyards. More are expected to join in coming days.

The Chowder Trail is 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, ICM, Novelli’s, Jerry’s Place, Beachcomber, Homegrown Public House, and Surfside at Driftwood Shores. Organizers are awaiting confirmation from several others.

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.

Two other fun family events will be part of the big weekend.

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 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. 

Saturday, October 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., sees the return of the festive Okto-Fur-Fest celebration at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St. The event features German food and drink, games, and prizes—and the hilariously exciting wiener dog races from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Mayor Joe Henry will ceremonially tap the first keg at noon. Admission is $3. Limited front row VIP tickets for the races are $10 at the FEC box office. Proceeds from the dachshund derby will benefit the Florence Van Fans Cancer Van. More information is available at 541-997-1994 or www.EventCenter.org

“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.”

For more information on the Florence Wine & Chowder Trail and Great Glass Float Giveaway weekend, call the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-997-3128 or visit FlorenceChamber.com.

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