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Week of November 5th  to
November 12th

2023 Exploding
Whale Trail 

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-two years ago, November 12,1970. 


A public 52nd Anniversary Exploding Whale Memorial celebration is planned Saturday, November 12th from 12noon to 8 p.m. at Homegrown Public House and Brewery, 294 Laurel Street in historic Florence Old Town. The celebration is open house style, family friendly, a little quirky; a lotta fun. 


From 12noon - 3 p.m. come out to meet tide-pool expert, Jamie Kish, from the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve Collaborative and representatives from the Elakha Alliance & Surfrider Foundation who will be present to share about local marine efforts and natural habitats. 


Don’t miss the 2 p.m. public toast to the whale and meet special mer-guest, Mermaid Shannon, who will be giving a reading and signing of her children’s book, Turtles want Teammates, which will also be for sale. Come and take advantage of photo opportunities with this real live mermaid and maybe even a Merman throughout the afternoon. Florence’s official-unofficial whale mascots, Flo and Rence will also be present to visit and take photos with. There will also be a 6 p.m. public toast. Merman Dan will also be arriving from the Atlantic!


All are encouraged to bring small offerings and homages to the whale to be placed at the art installation on the east side of Homegrown. 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. Wearing whaley fun costumes is encouraged too.


Don’t miss a visit to the Exploding Whale exhibit at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum across the street from Homegrown at 278 Maple Street, open from 12noon - 4 p.m. The exhibit has actual whale bones from the honored whale and the museum is full of interesting Florence historical displays. Also, check out the Whale Trail Map of Florence businesses offering activities and whaley cool items for sale to commemorate the occasion. The Whale Trail map and ongoing whale event news is posted on the event website,, on their 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 Email 



Get to Know Our 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.


2022 Community Partners
Activities & Promotions

November 7th to November 12th

Contact individual business for current information,

as these may change without notice or while supplies last.









All Week*Even Month



The Market at Driftwood Shores*

All month long! The Market at Driftwood Shores is honoring The Whale by offering a special Exploding Whale Burger - between two 1/4 beef patties & bun, you will experience cheddar cheese, bacon, sausage, jalapeno popper, lettuce, tomato, red onion, dill pickle with spicy mayo and choice of side ($18).

88416 1st Avenue


Daily, 7am - 7pm


Driftwood Shores Resort & Conference Center

10% off guest room rates during the week of Sun, Nov 6th thru Sun, Nov 13th. Not applicable with other discounts. Mention “The Exploding Whale Rate” and must call hotel direct to make reservation.

88416 1st Avenue


Nov. 6 thru Sun, Nov 13


Jerry’s Place, Home of What’cha Brewing

3rd Annual hand painted commemorative beer mug with beer included for $20.

88274 Rhododendron Drive


Daily, 11am to 11pm or later


BeauxArts Fine Art Materials

Exploding Whale Swag (T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Stickers, Pins, etc..) that supports local arts activities. Art up your own whale with themed art project kits all week long!

2285 Highway 101, Suite H


Tuesday to Friday, Noon to 5pm & Saturday, Noon to 4pm


Serene Abundance Studio

Whale Themed Iron-on for $5, bring your own garment (t-shirt, tote bag, etc...), we will apply while you wait!

1790 Highway 101


Thursday-Saturday 11am-6pm


Boba Flo BubbleTea & Coffee*

All Month & Longer – Enjoy the “Exploding Whale” Soda!!! Blue Raspberry flavored (to represent the ocean) and BURSTING Strawberry Boba (to represent the exploding guts). Try it as an energy drink too!

813 Highway 101


Daily, 6am- 5pm


Siuslaw News

Window display of local exploding whale history and information.

148 Maple Street


Virtual Promotions

RAIN (Regional Accelerator Innovation Network)*

Are you a business owner or a dreamer exploding with business ideas? Look no further, RAIN is here to help! Connect with your local Venture Catalyst or Entrepreneur-In-Community to get started!


A Cut Above Contracting LLC*

All Month Long Special offer - Exploding Whale Backflow Test that comes with a 20% discount to be used for your next annual backflow test.


By Appointment


Renee Walker Photography*

All Month - 10% off sessions booked during the month of November (sessions won’t be available until after January). Just mention our infamous exploding whale!



Truck Full of Posies

Exploding Whale Memorial Bouquet: Blue & white flowers uniquely arranged in a glass vase for $45 ($60 Value).



November 7th

City of Florence Proclamation

Council Chambers City Hall

250 Highway 101 at 5:30pm

Event Info HERE


November 9th

Date of the Exploding Whale

arriving in Florence 52 years ago


November 12th - The 52nd Anniversary Date

Homegrown Public House & Brewery

Community Memorial Location (art altar) featuring Exploding Whale Pale Ale, Amazing Food & Beverage Menu, Photobooth, Exploding Whale Swag Supporting Local Arts

294 Laurel Street

541.997.4886 &


11am to 8pm


Noon to 3pm

Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve Collaborative

Elakha Alliance, SurfRiders & Book Signing, and Meet & Greet with Mermaid Shannon


2pm – Toast to Whale

3:45pm - Actual Explosion 52 years ago

6pm – Toast to Whale


Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

Exploding Whale Exhibit, a must see across the street from Homegrown!

278 Maple Street

Noon - 4 pm


Do You Feel Different (Products in Crystal Aloha)

Free Mini Numerology Reading

1421 Bay Street

11am to 5pm


Gigi Lassan Art Gallery

Refreshments will be served (cheese & wine), live music and 52% on selected earrings, necklaces and paintings!

1458 1st Street

Noon to 5pm


Florence Surf Company

Get 10% Off Any Purchase in the Store!

1341 Bay Street Suite F




The Chicken Coop

All beach themed are items 20% off!

129 Maple Street


November 12th  & 13th, 11am-5pm



Discount on PLANET LUXE eco friendly products!

494 Highway 101


11am to 6pm


Word of Mouth Home Décor

Exploding Whale t-shirts, stickers, cupcakes! Come visit us and check out our whale of a tale items…plus our sustainable refill station of home goods, decor and special gift items.

1745 15th Street


9am to 4pm


Banya Pacifica

Chair massage and foot massage on drop-in basis $15 for 20 minutes!

508 Kingwood


Noon to 4pm


Florence Habitat ReStore

Florence Habitat ReStore will host a Whale of Sale! Look for the whale tags for special savings.  When you are ready to purchase your items, select a whale card from the waves, each card will reveal special prizes or discounts.

2016 Highway 101


9am -5pm


Coffee Stained Creations

Receive 15% off our 13oz bags of coffee! Free local delivery. Only available online visit our website!

Whale Trail Handout FINAL2.jpg
2022 Exploding Whale Image Header.png

Upcoming Events Links

  • 53rd Exploding Whale Celebration
    53rd Exploding Whale Celebration
    Sat, Nov 11
    Location is TBD
    Nov 11, 12:00 PM – Nov 12, 8:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Nov 11, 12:00 PM – Nov 12, 8:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    A public 53rd Anniversary Exploding Whale Memorial celebration is planned Saturday, November 11th. The celebration is open house style, family friendly, a little quirky; a lotta fun. More details come come!
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