Lincoln City’s Glass Floats on the Beach • Oct 17, 2015 – May 30, 2016
The project began in 1997, when a local artist first thought of glass floats as an intriguing way to launch the new millennium. Lincoln City sponsored the project, hosting the inaugural season in 1999-2000. Tourists came from around the country to search for their own brilliantly-colored, signed and numbered glass float.
For Lincoln City the Millennium Float project was a perfect combination of art and the outdoors. Those who came in search of a float often found their way to area galleries where unnumbered floats were available for sale, along with a dizzying array of fine art glass from around the world.
The city continues the promotion annually, running from Mid-October to Memorial Day – with hand-crafted glass floats being placed along the 7-1/2 miles (12 km) of public beach in Lincoln City, from the Roads End area to Siletz Bay. We put out the number of floats reflected by the year – so 2001 floats were placed in 2001, 2002 in 2002, etc…. You find it, you keep it!
How to Find Glass Floats
Floats may be found above the tide line and below the beach embankment. Floats will not be found in or on the cliffs. Please be aware of beach safety. Never turn your back on the ocean! Sneaker waves and the force of the ocean often move logs and can be unsafe. Our fairies do not “drop” the floats on the beaches during storms.
When you find a float, call the Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB), 800-452-2151 or 541-996-1274, and register your float. We will send a Certificate of Authenticity and information about the artists who crafted your float.
Bring everyone to the beach to experience the fun of float hunting. Start a new family tradition!
The 2016 Glass Artists
Special Glass Drops
Occasionally the Lincoln City VCB places (we don’t actually drop the glass pieces, we just call it that) extra pieces of glass art on the beaches for beachcombers to find. Special drops can include any combination of glass floats, sand dollars, crabs or starfish. Check out the special drop dates for the 2015-2016 season.
Regular Glass Float Drawings & Trash for Treasures
Special drawings are held monthly at the Visitor Center for glass floats. Bring a bag of beach trash to the Visitor Center, 540 NE Hwy 101, and fill out an entry form to win a glass float as part of Trash for Treasures. People with disabilities who prefer not to beachcomb are also eligible to enter and win a monthly float drawing.
Displays and exhibits
Glass floats are on display in many retail shops in Lincoln City. However there is a stunning exhibit of historic glass fishing floats at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum and at 4907 SW Hwy 101.
A little bit of history…
In days gone by, visitors searching Oregon’s beaches often found treasures from the east: blown glass floats in intriguing shades of green and blue. Used by Japanese fishing crews to float their nets, these spheres were as small as two inches (5 cm) or as large as two feet (.6 m). They were hoarded, polished and adored, the ultimate find for a dedicated beachcomber.
Now that fishing vessels around the world use buoyant plastic, a blown glass float is a rare find – except on the beaches of Lincoln City, where more than 2,000 of them are found each winter. We put out the number of floats reflected by the year – so 2001 floats were placed in 2001, 2002 in 2002, etc….