Battledecks! And Vote for Ignite Bend 12 presentations

Ignite BendIgnite Bend 12 is coming up this month, and voting has opened today on submissions, where folks can vote on their top three favorite speaker proposals for what they would like to see on stage. Here are the list of submitted proposals, and you can go vote on them here.

And for all the Ignite details:

  • When: Thursday, October 23, at 7pm (doors open at 6:30)
  • Where: The Tower Theatre
  • Cost: Totally free! And the EventBrite tickets will go on “sale” this Friday, the 10th, at noon!

This Thursday, the 9th, the Battledecks event and Ignite voting party is taking place: Battledecks is a taste of what the Ignite experience is like where you can sign up to do an improv-like “slideshow karaoke” presentation to a bunch of totally random slides that you’ve never seen before. And you’ll get the chance to vote (again) on paper ballots for your top three favorite speakers for Ignite Bend 12.

Battledecks is loads of fun, and there might even be a couple of prizes to give away to the most popular presentations (based on audience applause). If you want to go (and you should):

  • When: This Thursday, October 9, starting at 6:30pm
  • Where: Silver Moon Brewing
  • Cost: Also free! Well, you get to buy your own beer and food, of course, but it doesn’t cost anything to attend or even sign up to do an improv, karaoke-style “Ignite” type presentation to a bunch of totally random slides!

Also, there is still a call out for businesses or individuals willing to sponsor Ignite Bend: the reason Ignite can be a totally free, volunteer-driven event is because of sponsorship dollars, 100% of which go to cover the costs needed to put it on. If you would be interesting in sponsor this Ignite—and perhaps future ones as well—check out the Sponsor page on the website and get in touch.

Disclosure: I’m on the volunteer committee that helps plan and put on Ignite Bend, so I would indeed like to see it be successful!

Dutch Bros. east moves into new location, offers $1 coffee today

If you’re a fan of Dutch Brothers Coffee, you should know that all day today (October 1) the east side Dutch Brothers is offering a super-special deal where ALL 16-ounce drinks cost only $1, with all proceeds benefiting Mountain View High School and Bend Senior High.

The occasion is the celebration of their relocation, from their old drive-through kiosk on the corner of 27th and Highway 20 (by the Shell station) to a bigger location that includes walk-in business:

Dutch Brothers new eastside location

Locally owned and operated by Bill and Carol Smith, Dutch Bros. Coffee of Central Oregon is relocating the 62077 27th St. stand to a new location at 2155 NE Hwy 20, Bend.

After nearly ten years of proudly serving coffee from their 27th St. location, Bill and Carol Smith are pleased to announce they will be moving to an expanded location that will accommodate not only drive thru traffic, but will also have a walk-in area.

The new location at 2155 NE Hwy 20 will be one of the few Dutch Bros. Coffee locations with a walk-in area; accommodating our drive-thru customers and providing an opportunity for those who want to walk-in.

This new location is on the corner of Highway 20 and Dean Swift Road, in a former bank building I believe, sharing the parking lot with Double Happiness, Togo’s Sandwiches, and SuperCuts (though their building stands apart from those business in their mini-mall).

Make sure to check them out today and get a 16 ounce drink for only $1!

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.

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!

Sisters Fresh Hop Festival – this Saturday!

This Saturday is one of the region’s best seasonal beer festivals, taking place over in Sisters—the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival! From noon to 8pm at Village Green Park, 24 breweries will be pouring a vast selection of fresh hop beers (34 fresh hop beers, I believe), which are beers that use hops picked fresh off the vine and not dried. The fresh hops impart a very fresh, very green character to the finished beer and because hops have a very specific and short harvest season, this is the only time of year you can get them.

Sisters Fresh Hop Festival

As in previous years, the souvenir pint glass will cost only $5 and it costs $1 per four-ounce taste—very reasonable, though I don’t believe you can get full pours (which would typically be for $4). And the Festival is all-ages, though of course you have to be 21+ in order to have beer.

There will be live music and there should be food trucks on hand as well, there always have been in past years even though the website doesn’t spell it out.

You can find an up-to-date list of breweries and beers pouring here (PDF).

This is great and unique beer event, one you won’t want to miss! Be there!

The Night Light Show

1398660_1432911723599364_780463233_oOnce a month at the Tin Pan Theater in Downtown Bend, something special happens. A small group of folks puts on a live show that’s a fun blend of media festival, variety show, and talk show. It’s called (deep breath), Tin Pan Theater Presents the Night Light Show with Shanan Kelley & Magnificent Guests… or just The Night Light Show. They play to a standing-room-only crowd of supporters, packing the theater so it’s bursting at the seams.

I’ve been to several of the shows since the first of the year, and have enjoyed every one. Shanan Kelley, the host, has great stage presence and makes everyone feel like her personal guest. She is joined by Chelsea Woodmansee (known for Last Comic Standing Bend), a house band called The Gold Rust (comprised of Casey the Boy & Kaycee the Girl), and many others who work to make the night interesting and fun.

While the show is entertaining – I could go on and on about how hard I laugh – it’s also a great showcase for local personalities, businesses, events, and causes. Every show is a unique snapshot of some aspect of Bend, in line with a monthly theme. As much as Portlandia is a satirical take on Portland stereotypes and idiosyncracies, The Night Light Show does a great job of offering a Bendite’s unique perspectives on both local and broader topics. (Remember when tickets to Dave Matthews Band sold out in a flash? The NLS feels your pain.) While small, the Tin Pan Theater is a great venue and it’s a nice place to spend an evening, kicking back (or standing!) with a bucket of freshly-made popcorn and a local craft beer.

The show has grown tremendously since it started less than a year ago. There are now two shows (one at 6:30 and one at 8:30) and they’ve added a middle party for the groups attending both shows to mingle and enjoy music & offerings from local businesses in Tin Pan Alley. They’re tinkering with live streaming since tickets have sold out for every live show.

When I asked Shanan why they do the show, she wrote:

At this point the show is still very much in it’s experimental phase. We do it for the laughs, we do it to see if we can make it truly profitable, we do it to see if we can provide marketing assistance that works and is affordable (gasp) for local businesses and organizations. We do it because we know it builds community. We can talk about ANYTHING no matter how difficult if we are laughing. Laughter is the thing we all have in common and it is the most powerful medicine available.

…Sounds like a good experiment to me. If it sounds good to you, get a taste of what The Night Light Show is all about on their YouTube Channel where many of the videos featured at previous shows can be found. The next live show is on September 30th, and tickets go on sale at 10am today (September 23rd) at They go fast, so nab yours as early as possible. Hope to see you there!

Franklin’s Corner Community Garden

Franklin's Corner Community Garden planFor awhile now I’d been driving on Franklin Avenue and at the roundabout at Eighth Street I noticed on the southeast corner there appeared to be a large garden of some sort being developed. Thanks to a press release that came in yesterday, I have a name for it now: Franklin’s Corner Community Garden. It’s a fascinating idea; here’s the full press release:

Franklin’s Corner is the first community garden constructed on a City-owned lot. Franklin’s Corner, at NE Franklin Avenue and NE Ninth Street, is entirely organic, uses water-conservation techniques and offers a community gathering space for the neighborhood.

The park is a storm water infiltration system, or rain garden. It is designed to capture, hold and naturally treat storm water in the neighborhood. This clean, filtered clean storm water will eventually rejoin our groundwater supply.

For decades, the lot had been irrigated turf in a highly-visible area. The completed garden is an aesthetic improvement for the surrounding neighborhood. Its location provides a viable growing climate and features an edible food forest which is open to the entire neighborhood. The landscape also consists of native plants and pollinators for bees and butterflies.

Plots are available to rent for the growing seasons to anyone. Some plots are sponsored for low-income families. Plots are available on a first come-first serve basis with preference given to returning gardeners in good standing who volunteer to maintain the garden area.

Franklin’s Corner was made possible by widespread support in the community: grants, sponsorships, donation of time, services and material by many of Bend’s local businesses, community partners, volunteers, and neighbors.

It’s a volunteer-driven project but you can sponsor or even rent a plot, which is a great idea. Obviously the 2014 plots are taken, but there’s plenty of time to get in on plots (garden beds) for 2015.

And next Tuesday the 23rd, they are having their dedication ceremony at 5:15 if you wanted to check it out.

Uncorked: Wine fest at Sunriver SHARC

This weekend (last night and today), the old Sunriver Sunfest Wine Festival is taking place—rebranded as “Uncorked” and put on by Sunriver Style and SHARC. It looks like a great wine event, and my wife went with some friends last night and really enjoyed it; some pictures are below.

Here are the details:

Uncorked, Sunriver Style is a two-day wine event featuring Oregon wineries, chocolates, cheeses, educational wine classes, live music & more!

Previously known as the Sunriver Sunfest Wine Festival, the Sunriver Owners Association enlisted the support of a veteran wine festival coordinator to stage a rejuvenated and dynamic event renamed “Uncorked, Sunriver Style.” Held in SHARC’s Benham Hall, the two-day event will showcase 16 Oregon-based wines, music and vendors featuring boutique chocolates, cheeses and more. There will be a few other surprises throughout the weekend.

$20/per person ages 21 & older; includes one event stemless wine glass and 5 tasting tickets. Additional tastes, glasses of wine and bottles will be sold by the vendors. $5 admission each day for non-drinkers (does not include a wine glass); ages 3 and under are free.

They have some educational wine classes to offer as well, for $30 per class (or $75 for all of them). Overall looks like a great wine festival, so check it out if you get the chance!

And, a few pictures: