2023 Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast to be crowned Saturday

Pictured: The full Rhody Court enjoying a day on the beach. From left to right, top row - Princes Alex Goss, Tristan Stewart, Lucian Murphy, Caleb Lewis and Ian Sissel; Middle row - Princesses Sunshine Armer, Mary Jo Fontenot, Gillian Norton, Eryn Morgan and Michaela Butchart; Bottom row - Junior Princesses Emerie Decker, Abigail Mills Lincoln Moffet, Jasmine Quinn and Savanna Scully.

116th Rhody Fest opens with Coronation at FEC

May 12, 2023 — Florence will come a Rip Roarin’ into the 116th Rhododendron Festival when the annual event kicks off Saturday with the 2023 Rhododendron Court Coronation, continuing a tradition that started with the first festival. 

The 116th Rhododendron Court of incredible young men and women have become a beloved legacy and will reign over the Rhododendron Festival parade and act as ambassadors for the entire festival weekend. 

This year’s Rhododendron festival Coronation will be held the Saturday before Rhody weekend on May 13. Ten outstanding seniors from Siuslaw and Mapleton High Schools will be competing for Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast. 

They are, from Mapleton, Caleb Lewis and Tristan Stewart and from Siuslaw, Sunshine Armer, Michaela Buthchart, Mary Jo Fontenot, Alex Goss, Eryn Morgan, Lucian Murphy, Gillian Norton and Ian Sissel.

Also in attendance will be the 2023 Junior Court — Siuslaw 1st grader Savanna Scully, Mapleton 2nd grader Lincoln Moffett, homeschooled 3rd grader Emerie Decker, Siuslaw 4th grader Jasmine Quinn and Siuslaw 5th grader Abigail Mills. 

On Coronation Night, join Masters of Ceremonies Matt Templeman, KEZI evening news anchor, and Melanie Heard, director of CROW, as they cheer on one young woman and one young man who will be crowned 2023 Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast. The exciting evening will be a showcase of talents, entertainment, and performances. Scholarships will be awarded to the entire senior court. 

Please join us for a fun filled evening where these young people can share their talents and kick off the Rhododendron Festival. 

Coronation will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince Street.

Tickets, which are $15, plus a FEC processing fee, are available at the FEC box office, online at www.eventcenter.org/general/page/rhody-court-coronation or by calling 541-997-1994.

After Saturday's coronation more festival fun comes on Thursday at 3 p.m. when Davis Shows opens the gates on its carnival that runs through Sunday. A full slate of events comes Friday when the Vendor Fair opens on Maple Street, the carnival continues, there’s a quilt show and live music at Three Rivers Casino & Resort.

For coverage of the entire weekend’s events check out the 116th Rhododendron Festival Guide inserted inside the May 12 edition of the Siuslaw News.