Fall in Bend kicks off this weekend

Even though one week ago was the first official day of autumn, this first weekend of October can be said to mark the real start of the fall season in Bend, with several events going on that should help kick off the season—starting with the Bend Fall Festival.

Pumpkins!
Everybody loves pumpkins in the fall! The pumpkin patches are opening as well (see below).

The annual Bend Fall Festival is taking place in downtown Bend Friday through Sunday, featuring two stages with free live music, the artist promenade on Wall Street, food, beer, and wine, the Family Harvest Area with pumpkin painting, a fall maze, and more, and the fall Harvest Market with seasonal fresh produce for sale (among other things). Think Summerfest with a harvest theme!

Like the other seasonal fests, the Fall Festival is free to attend, and runs from 5 to 10pm on Friday, 11am to 10pm on Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

This Friday is also the First Friday Fall Art Hop in downtown Bend! Not just the “regular” Art Walk, it’s the bigger version that celebrates the changing of the seasons. From 5 to 9pm, businesses in downtown will be open late, with special art displays and installations from many local artists, and many will offer refreshments as well (snacks and appetizers, wine and beer) and don’t be surprised to find live music as part of the festivities. It’s always a terrific time, and with the Fall Festival going on at the same time, downtown Bend is going to be lively and packed!

If you’re more of a beer fan, Deschutes Brewery has their official Jubelale Release and Artist Poster Signing Friday night at their downtown Pub from 5 to 8pm. Jubelale is the Brewery’s signature winter seasonal and (despite it’s showing up on tap and on shelves earlier in September) its release is a welcome fall addition. This year’s Jubelale label was created by artists Lisa and Lori Lubbesmeyer will be at the Pub signing free posters of this year’s label, so don’t miss out.

And then almost nothing is more “harvest seasonal” in beer than fresh hop beers—and Growler Phil’s over on Galveston on the westside is holding their 2nd Annual Fresh Hop Fest this Saturday from 3 to 6pm. The fest will be taking place in their parking lot and will offer up a chance to taste a variety of beers brewed with hops that have been picked fresh off the vine and not dried—which is in fact a very narrow window for which these beers are around.

And because it’s fall, keep an eye out for the pumpkin beers, as well!

Speaking of pumpkins (see what I did there?), this weekend you might want to check out the local pumpkin patches—they’re not in Bend proper, but really is there anything more “fall” than visiting the pumpkin patch?

The Central Oregon Pumpkin Company out at Smith Rock Ranch opened up on September 27, featuring their U-pick pumpkins, local pumpkin and produce market, corn “maize” (this year’s theme is Godzilla), pumpkin cannons, lots of fun and activities and more. They’re open from noon to 6pm Monday through Friday and from 10am to 6pm on weekends.

And the DD Ranch in Terrebonne has their Pumpkin Patch opening up October 1, with their own U-pick goodies as well as their country store, a hay maze, pony rides and more.

Do you know of any other fall- or harvest-themed things going on this weekend? Let us know in the comments!