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FLORENCE — The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announced its selection of “Rhody Rendezvous,” submitted by Jack Hannigan of Florence, as the theme for the 111th Rhododendron Festival.

The Chamber board of directors requested a design that incorporates elements that convey a fun gathering with iconic local and festival images such as rhododendrons and Florence imagery, and the words “Rhody Rendezvous.” To bring the idea to life, the Chamber hired the team of Susan Johnson of Susan D. Johnson Design and Scott Steward of Creative Wave Marketing Solutions to design this year’s official logo. The pair have collaborated on the event’s logos since 2012.

“This year’s ‘Rhody Rendezvous’ theme intends to evoke a feeling of coming to Florence and meeting up with friends and family for a great time here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” says executive director Bettina Hannigan.

The final image combined a 1960s' era Microbus, motorcycle, Ferris wheel, evergreen tree, and rhododendron below the Siuslaw River Bridge.

“We are delighted with the design for its vibrancy, local icons, fun elements, and its ability to transcend all media,” says Bettina Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director. “Susan and Scott captured what our board was looking for to help us celebrate our 111th anniversary and evoke a sense of an exciting gathering.

This year’s logo will soon start appearing in print, broadcast, and online materials to promote the event and draw visitors to Florence. The logo will be printed on commemorative pins, banners, advertisements, and print guides. The Rhododendron Court will sell pins featuring the logo. Proceeds go toward scholarships for Queen Rhododendra, the King of the Coast, and members of the Rhody Court.

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The 2018 Rhododendron Festival will be held May 18-20, 2018 with preliminary events beginning as early as Wednesday, May 16.

Traditionally the Davis Shows Carnival opens on Wednesday afternoon at the Port of Siuslaw parking lot, the Rhododendron Court coronation takes place Thursday evening at the Florence Events Center, and the town begins filling on Friday. There is a junior parade on Saturday afternoon and the grand floral parade on Sunday. The event also includes a vendor’s fair in Historic Old Town, a spectacular rhododendron show along with live music, art, and other festivities at the Florence Events Center, and Three Rivers Casino Resort will host their annual motorcycle show and other events.

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