Ask any of the thousands of visitors who come to Lincoln City each winter to search our beaches for hidden treasures. The program, which takes place from mid-October through Memorial Day, is sponsored by our Visitors and Convention Bureau. They ask our many ‘float fairies’ (volunteers) to walk the seven mile stretch of beach from Roads End to Siletz Bay during daylight hours and deposit floats surreptitiously. Each year a Official Glass Floats unique and numbered in numbers corresponding to the year (this year, 2016 Official floats will go out) are hidden along with other glass items—could be glass sand dollars, sea stars, crabs…one never knows, so keep a sharp eye on the beach! Throughout the winter, round 3,000 total handcrafted glass floats and other locally crafted items are distributed for our visitors’ enjoyment
The Most Frequently asked question: When/Where can I find a float?
Floats can be found along the beach access points and anywhere on the beach between the tide line and the grassy embankments. Floats will not be hidden around any slide or fallen rock areas. We do not expect our visitors to endanger their safety to discover a hiding place.Our ‘float fairies’ work only in daylight, but they do so on their own schedule. We do not know when or what beach they may choose. They typically have a fresh supply of floats every week, so you never know when you might meet one.Our ‘float fairies’ do work in the rain, but only if the beach conditions are safe. If, in the rare event unsafe conditions coincide with a special float drop, an event cancellation notice will be posted at www.oregoncoast.org.If you find a glass float, look on the bottom “button” for a registration number. If a number is there, you can call 800-452-2151 to receive a Certificate of Authenticity and information about the artist who crafted the float. Floats or other items without numbers cannot be registered.
Trash for Treasure: For those who collect trash while on the beach—we thank you! And one way we show our appreciation is by entering you in a drawing for a glass float. Bring the bag of trash to the Visitor Center at 540 SE Highway 101 and they will give you a form to fill out that will enter you into a drawing for the next month.Disabled Individuals: For those who are unable or prefer not to beachcomb there is a monthly drawing to enter to win a glass float. Drawings are held the first week of every month.
Why Glass Floats?
Before fishing fleets discovered plastic was a viable material to float their fishing nets, glass floats were used. When these glass floats, which could be as small as 2” or as large as 2 feet wide, came loose from Japanese nets, they floated freely across the Pacific and many landed on the Oregon coast to the delight of by-gone beachcombers. This kind of float still occasionally shows up on our shores, and they are prized for their scarcity.In 1997 a local artist proposed Finders Keepers as a unique way to celebrate the new millennium. The City decided it was a great idea and launched the program. It has been a popular draw ever since, with thousands of tourists coming to search for their own glass bauble. Not everyone can be lucky enough to find a float, but anyone can find a way to our many shops and galleries that sell glass floats as well as other glass art.
Glass Art/Floats can be found at these member businesses:
101 Coastal Creations, Ryan Gallery, Alderhouse Glassblowing, Freed Gallery, Jennifer Sears Glass Art, Volta Gallery