The story is legendary. Nearly 50 years ago, a whale beached itself on the shores near Florence, Oregon. Its carcass was "dealt with" with dynamite by city officials, causing the blubber to fly! Now, the coastal city has opened the Exploding Whale Memorial Park to commemorate the incident.
Florence, near where the whale — or as a KATU reporter referred to it at the time "a stinking whale of a problem" — washed up, is finally honoring this beautiful moment in history with a new park.
It was the people of Florence who picked the name Exploding Whale Memorial Park.
"We asked the community for name suggestions, narrowed those 120-plus names down to nine, and had the community vote on them," said Florence city project manager Megan Messmer.
The park offers views of the Siuslaw River and Bridge and the sand dunes on the south side of the river, according to the City of Florence's website.
There are picnic tables and a shelter and a multi-use path, but, sadly, no whale carcasses, exploded or otherwise.
But there is a whale mascot.