Rhododendron Festival Cancelled
The Covid-19 pandemic strikes another blow to the Florence economy. The City’s Rhododendron Festival has been cancelled for the first time since World War 2. Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bettina Hannigan says the Chamber’s presidential team along with City Manager Erin Reynolds had discussed the possibility of moving the event, but Hannigan said there was no way to predict how the current events might unfold or what date might work into the schedule. The Rhododendron Festival, according to Hannigan is the single largest economic impact of Florence’s tourist driven economy and serves as the kick-off to the tourist season. Tourism for the Florence area amounts to 147 million dollars for the community each year.