Hello Bend! The place to be on Saturday at noon was downtown at the annual Bend Christmas Parade! Parade Floats and participants ranged from Smokey the Bear, to the Polar Express, to Roller Derby Girls…and everything in between!
I can’t forget to mention the garbage truck carrying Santa’s sleigh full of toys which was a big hit with all the kids!
Our personal favorite was the outrageously decorated purple station wagon sponsored by Quality Cars of Bend. With a live tree (roots and all) attached to the roof, it brought back memories of Clark Griswold and his oversized Christmas tree in the classic Christmas Vacation movie.
Although, my daughter would argue that the purple cow was the highlight of the parade…aside from Santa of course.
My son on the other hand, votes in favor of his buddies in the Pine Ridge Unicycle Club. When we moved here, I thought Bend had just about every major outdoor activity covered, and it was confirmed on my son’s 1st day of school when I saw dozens of kids riding their unicycles home! My son is now determined to join the club and ride in the parade next year!
We arrived a little late as my son had a soccer game, but lucked out with a parking space off Lafayette. Scored a viewing spot on the corner or Newport & Wall Street . We discovered this is a coveted spot on the parade route so it was quite crowded especially for us late arrivals.
Our ideal situation for next year is to have a seat at the end of Newport as the parade turns onto Wall Street. It gets crowded quickly, so my girl friend & I decided the best game plan is to arrive at 11:00…yes, 1 hour before the parade starts! If you allow yourself the extra time, you are sure to get a good spot at any given location along the parade route. Set up your chairs and hang out, heck why not even bring a couple extra blankets to bundle up and keep warm or some type of activity to keep the kids preoccupied. You may also want to go grab a coffee (Looney Bean, Starbucks, and Thump are all conveniently located within a short walk) or check out the local shops while the guys hold down the fort…just a thought. Don’t worry about bringing back hot chocolate for the kiddies as the Salvation Army provides free hot chocolate at several locations along the way.
Next year we will be sure to bring a couple low profile chairs and a blanket for the kids to sit on. The streets were extremely dirty with tons of lava rock debris leftover from the clean up efforts of the snowstorm we had the week prior. All the little kids wanted to sit or kneel down in the front row, but it was dirty and uncomfortable. One child sat on her mom’s purse to pad the surface and I used my mittens as knee-pads!
After the parade, the girls hit up Journey’s Annual Pop Up Shop Boutique, which happens to be conveniently located down the street from our preferred parade viewing area. Local vendors & artists offer up the perfect holiday gifts.
Definitely another fun day! Next year we will be even more prepared & comfortable during this fun event.