When to look for hidden glass floats on the Oregon coast in 2024


Finders Keepers is back for 2024, and it’s ready to drop a lot more glass floats on Oregon coast beaches.

The yearlong hidden glass float event in Lincoln City released its 2024 schedule, detailing 16 special drops over the course of the year, in addition to its daily drops on central Oregon coast beaches.

A colorful glass float is hidden every day somewhere on a beach around Lincoln City as part of the program run by local tourism organization Explore Lincoln City, but odds of finding one are much better on “special drop” days, when dozens of floats are hidden at once.

Explore Lincoln City’s special drop schedule technically begins Dec. 30, 2023, with the Opening Weekend drop over New Year’s weekend, running through every season until it culminates with the holiday season drop Dec. 14 and 15, 2024. And while the event happens rain or shine, dates are subject to change based on dangerous tide and weather conditions.

The 16 special drops are almost identical to those from previous years, though 2024 includes a couple of changes.

The Basketball drop in December, which featured red and black floats for the Portland Trail Blazers, has been replaced by the Holiday drop (yet another tough blow for fans this season). The Thanksgiving drop is also being rebranded as the Harvest drop and will take place a week after the holiday.

Otherwise, the event is expected to go on as usual.

Glass floats are placed on Lincoln City beaches by secretive “float fairies” who leave them in visible locations between the high tide line and the beach embankment. Explore Lincoln City said the floats are meant to be found easily by whomever is lucky enough to stumble upon them first.

Each float comes with instructions on how to register it online or by phone, a process that helps Explore Lincoln City know that each float is successfully found. Once the finder registers their float, the organization will send them a certificate of authenticity and information about the artist who made it.

The best advice on finding one is to not actually go looking, but to simply enjoy the scenery and allow a float to come to you, the organization says – not unlike finding anything else on the beach, be it a whole sand dollar or a big agate.

Glass floats were traditionally used by fishermen, particularly in Japan, to keep their nets floating in the water. Air inside the glass orbs would keep them buoyant, a feature that also allowed them to drift thousands of miles across the ocean, where many wound up on beaches along the Pacific coast.

Since glass floats are no longer used in fishing, finding them on Oregon beaches is a rarity today. In the late 1990s, a group of Lincoln City artists decided to make their own glass floats to place on the beaches, an idea that would become Finders Keepers. The first event was held in 1999 as a way to ring in the new millennium, and soon it became a hit with tourists and locals alike.

Here’s the Finders Keepers schedule for 2024:

Dec 30-Jan 1 – Opening Weekend: 100 floats

Feb. 17-24 – Antique Week: 100 Japanese antique floats

Feb. 14-16 – Valentine’s Day: 50 red/pink/white floats

March 16-April 14 – Spring break: 200 floats

April 20-22 – Earth Day: 50 Earth Day floats

May 10-12 – Mother’s Day: 50 floats

May 25-27 – Memorial Day: 50 red/white/blue floats

June 14-16 – Father’s Day: 50 floats

June TBD – Casino Anniversary: 29 floats

June 22-23 – Summer Kite: 10 floats

Aug. 31-Sept. 2 – College Ball: 20 green/yellow and 20 orange/black floats

Sept. 7-8 – Fall Kite: 10 floats

Sept. TBD – Celebration of Honor: 50 red/white/blue floats

Oct. 31-Nov. 2 – Halloween: 50 floats

Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Harvest Drop: 50 floats

Dec. 14-15 – Holiday: 50 floats