The July 4th holiday is a little awkward as it falls in the middle of the week this year—having to work two days before an after is annoying—but that shouldn’t dampen the enjoyment of it any. As usual there are lots of things going on; here are a number of the highlights.
- The Pet Parade: Starting at 10am the annual Pet Parade takes over downtown’s core: people of all ages parading with their pets (mostly dogs) and many dressed up in costume (including the dogs!). The route starts at the school administration building by the library, proceeds north up Wall Street, then loops back down Bond Street via Minnesota and Franklin. This is a long-standing Bend tradition, going back to the 1930s at least, and one of the funnest events of the year.
- Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration: Immediately following the Pet Parade, Drake Park is filled with crafts, food, old-fashioned games, and live entertainment from 11 to 4. Lots of fun to visit and people-watch, even if you don’t spend any money.
- Bend Sunrise Lions Club Pancake Breakfast: Each year from 8am until noon the Bend Sunrise Lions Clubs hosts the pancake breakfast feed, which may or may not be all you can eat. (Does anyone know?) Cost in the past has been $6 for adults and $4 for children.
- Deschutes Historical Museum Free Day & Ice Cream Social: Every Fourth of July the Deschutes Historical Museum is open free to the public and they give out free ice cream to visitors while it lasts from 10 to 4. If you’ve never been to the Historical Museum this is a great introduction to it—a lot of fascinating Bend and Deschutes County history is on display—and the free ice cream cups don’t hurt, either!
- Bend Library Book Sale: Every Fourth of July the Friends of the Bend Library hosts their summer book sale at the old Administration building (at 507 NW Wall Street). From 10am until 4pm, there are fantastic deals on books of all kinds, as well as audio and video materials. For just a few bucks you can walk out with enough reading material for a month or two.
- The Freedom Ride: The sort-of “anarchy parade” where downtown is taken over by bike riders celebrating freedom, many of which are dressed up. It’s open to all, starts in Pioneer Park (leaving there at 2:30 before doing a couple of laps downtown) and as they note on the event page, “Please remember to ride responsibly and be respectful of the police, traffic, and your fellow Freedom Riders. Pack out your trash, don’t leave it for others.” (There’s an interesting editorial on this here.)
- Pilot Butte Fireworks: The fireworks show starts at 10pm and is always free (naturally). (Bonus entertainment: they catch the Butte on fire.) Find a good spot to watch the show, and tune your radio into 94.1 FM for music that is set to accompany the display. It typically lasts about 20-25 minutes.
Outside of Bend there are of course parades and fireworks as well; the Bulletin has a good roundup.
- Redmond: Parade begins at 10am at NW 6th Street and Dogwood Avenue; fireworks at 10pm at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds. (The Fairgrounds also host their Old-Fashioned celebration beginning at 1pm.)
- Prineville: Parade begins at 10am at NW Deer and 4th Streets. Stryker Park will host family events at 11am, and fireworks begin at 10pm from the Highway 26 viewpoint.
- Madras: Their parade begins at 11am, with fireworks starting at 10pm at Sahalee Park at 7th and B Streets.