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Week of November 6th  to
November 12th

2023 Exploding
Whale Trail 

Celebration & Commemoration Information

It’s that time of year again, when the community of Florence and cult exploding-whale lovers across the globe memorialize the famous whale occurrence. It happened one fateful afternoon on the shores of Florence, fifty-three years ago, November 12,1970. 


A public 53rd Anniversary Exploding Whale Memorial celebration is planned Sunday, November 12th. The celebration is open house style, family friendly, a little quirky; a lotta fun. Wearing whaley fun costumes is encouraged too.

More Whale Trail Event Details to come! Please check back soon here and our social media pages.

Do You Want to Sponsor or Be on the Whale Trail?

Contact BeauxArts Fine Art Materials at 541-991-8213 or Email

Information of the Art Installation

All are encouraged to bring small offerings and homages to the whale to be placed at the art installation. The exhibit is meant to be fanciful, fun and will naturally evolve throughout the day into the evening when it glows with lights and the reflections of the colorful contributions.


A Chunk of History

Don’t miss a visit to the Exploding Whale exhibit at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum across the street from Homegrown at 278 Maple Street. Check their hours as they change from season to season.  The exhibit has actual whale bones from the honored whale and the museum is full of interesting Florence historical displays.


Whale Trail

The Whale Trail Map of Florence businesses offering activities and whaley cool items for sale to commemorate the occasion is still in the works. The Whale Trail map and ongoing whale event news is posted on the event website,, on the Facebook page @ILoveForence97439 and will also be available at the event. 


For more event scoop or to join The Whale Trail contact BeauxArts Fine Art Materials at 541-991-8213 or Email 

See the 2023 Trail Here:


2023 Whale Trail Handout.jpg


Get to Know Our 2023 Sponsors

This event is supported by the generous contributions from:



On November 9th 1970, a 45 foot ~8ton sperm whale washed ashore on the South Jetty in Florence, Oregon.


The beach location was under the jurisdiction of Oregon Department of Transportation, née Oregon Highway Division. Ideas to assist decomposition lead to the idea to blow up the whale. A charge of one-half short ton (lots) of dynamite was selected to break the carcass down and distribute pieces for nature to continue the decomposition process.


Detonation was at 3:45pm on November 12th, 1970. 


The explosion threw whale flesh around 800 feet in a hemisphere of directions.


Needless to say, the idea didn’t really work as desired, BUT most importantly, we celebrate this historical event for many reasons.


Unfortunately, in 1979, 41 sperm whales beached nearby on the same beach, state parks officials burned and buried them.



You may wonder why celebrate something that seems disgusting or not something to celebrate?


Over the past few years, more & more people and businesses have wanted to participate in a celebration. This celebration covers many things:


  • Cultural event that has lived on for more than 50 years!

  • Lesson on learning from our mistakes

  • Celebrate nature, our environment and it’s processes

  • A debacle that has turned into a local legend AND known world wide

  • Honoring history, even the absurd

  • Channels morbid curiosity into a positive channels that support local flavor

  • Promotes economic prosperity

  • A community pride event

  • Helps fund local arts & cultural activities

  • etcetera


Learn more about the Exploding Whale at the Siulsaw News location on the Whale Trail.


Upcoming Events Links

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