PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Visitors to the Oregon coast in Lincoln City will have two weekends in May to hunt for dozens of glass floats placed on the beach.
Glass floats are placed on the beach daily, but there are certain days throughout the year when “float fairies,” or volunteers, place extras on the beach for people to find. These bonus float days usually occur on holiday weekends, when tourists tend to flock to Lincoln City.
In May, beachcombers might have better luck searching for the glass floats on Mother’s Day weekend, May 12-14, or Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29.
For these two weekends, volunteers from Lincoln City’s Finders Keepers program will place 50 floats on the beach.
People walking the beach should be on the lookout for colorful glass spheres. These hand-blown floats are made by glass artists from around the state. Many of them are based in Lincoln City or Newport, but others live in places like Medford, Grants Pass, Eugene and Astoria.
According to Finders Keepers, the “float fairies” hide the glass floats across 7 miles of public beach from Roads End on the north side of Lincoln City to Siletz Bay on the south side.
The floats can be found above the high tide line and below the beach embankment. They are placed on the beach during daylight hours only and are hidden throughout the day, not just at one time.
Finders Keepers asks that people hunting for the floats only keep one per household. Anyone who finds a glass float should register it by calling (541) 996-1274 or by texting FLOATS to 866-943-0443. The floats can also be registered online. Anyone who registers a glass float will receive a certificate of authenticity and information about the artist who created it.
In the past, glass floats were used to suspend fishing nets in the water and ranged in size from two inches to two feet. They were used in Japan and occasionally, beachcombers in Oregon would find them washed ashore.
Now, boats use plastic buoys on their nets, but Lincoln City continues the tradition of finding the glass floats on the beach through its Finders Keepers program.
The floats come in an array of colors. On Memorial Day Weekend, the 50 floats hidden on the beach will be red, white and blue.