By Dusty Trails
Independence Day is quickly approaching, and I’ve got my outfit all planned out: blue jean overalls to go with my bright red sunburn on my pale white skin from floating the river the other day. Ouch! But a little sunburn isn’t going to stop me from celebrating the birth of our nation. So here is an overview of the festivities in Central Oregon this Fourth of July.
The annual Spark Your Heart 5K run/walk kicks off the day at Riverbend Park at 8 am in support of local adult and children’s heart services. After the run, head over to the traditional Pancake Breakfast in Drake Park served from 8 am to noon by the Bend Sunrise Lion’s Club. This all-American meal costs $4 for kids and $6 for adults and the proceeds benefit local charities.
My personal favorite event is the Pet Parade. Every year as a child, I would decorate my bike, scooter, roller skates, wagon, dog, hamster—everything—in red white and blue paraphernalia, put on a crazy costume, and line up with hundreds of other patriotic participants to march, pedal, skip, and dance down the streets of downtown. The parade started in the 1930s and is Bend’s largest, with 8,000 spectators and participants. If you would like to be in the parade, the lineup and decorating party starts at 9:30 am in the parking lot between Bond and Wall across from the Deschutes Public Library. If you’re just watching, be sure to arrive well before the 10 am start time to find parking and a good spot to enjoy the procession.
After the parade, head over to Drake Park for the Old Fashioned July 4 Festival from 11-4 for games, live music, food booths, and more than 100 artisan booths.
Finally, after an afternoon of barbecuing, floating the river, paddle boarding, biking, or whatever your Independence Day activity of choice may be, get ready for the fireworks at 10 pm. They are launched from the top of Pilot Butte, so Tripleknot residents don’t have to go far to find one of the best vantage points to watch the magic happen.