The 4th of July in Bend is amazing! And it’s a lovely reminder that we live in a small town with festivities that are fun, convenient, safe and easy to access. That’s something that is hard to find in bigger cities. Even through we are a vacation destination and summer brings loads of tourists to Bend, I am still in awe at how awesome it is to live in this little mountain town.
The first thing on your “must do 4th of July list” should be the pet & bike parade. Not to be missed…and is especially great for families! Tons of fun for the kids as they watch some silly and crazy costumes on a variety of local pets & people alike!
…and when I say variety, I mean variety…there were even chickens, a turtle and a few horses!
The best way to access the parade is on bike if possible so you don’t have to deal with the very limited parking. Since the parade route runs through downtown, you have to find parking a few blocks over and walk. Last year, we arrived a little late, parked on a side street, and we were still able to find an open spot to watch the parade. This year we parked a little further away and made the easy bike ride into town. Of course, decorating the bikes is a must!
After the parade, head on over to Drake Park for the 4th of July festival. You will find several local food trucks, craft vendors, and fun games & activities for the kids.
Smokey the Bear even made an appearance!
Be sure to make a stop at Cuppa Yo and treat yourself to a one of a kind root beer float!
The face painting tents were super popular and that brought along with it super long lines. Our mistake was we went straight to the face painting, spent at least an hour waiting in line, and by the time we were ready to leave the festival, there were no lines for face painting at all! So, games first and face painting on the way out. That’s our plan!
Or better yet, give yourself a break before the festival and avoid the long lines altogether. Treat yourself to lunch at one of the many awesome downtown Bend restaurants. Restaurants are easy to get into immediately following the parade as everyone heads straight to the festival. Enjoy a nice meal and avoid the long lines at the games and the food carts!
This year we made plans to do the Freedom Ride with our friends after the festivities with the kids in the park. I planned to add couple lines about our Freedom Ride experience to this post, but after completing the ride, I decided it deserved its own special post. So many awesome pics to share….check back for the Freedom Ride blog post coming soon!
Over the years my family and I have celebrated the 4th of July in many cities and in many ways…and I can whole heartedly say that 4th of July in Bend is the best of them all. It is the perfect balance of American pride, beautiful small town appeal and tons of events for the whole family. God Bless the U.S.A….and Bend!!