Festivities for the Fourth

The fireworks on Pilot Butte!

The 4th of July is right around the corner, and Bend definitely knows how to celebrate its independence. The day will be chock-full of activities to help you get in touch with your patriotic side. Here are a few highlights:

Spark Your Heart 5k Run/Walk: Start your morning off with a bang at the Spark Your Heart run/walk benefiting St. Charles adult cardiac rehab and wellness programs and children’s cardiovascular programs. Events include a Children’s Heart Fund Dash for kids 8 and younger, a 5K race, and a 1K for cardiac rehab patients. It begins at 7:30am at Riverbend Park in the Old Mill!

Pancake Breakfast: Treat yourself after the run with the annual Pancake Breakfast, a popular Bend tradition sponsored by the Bend Sunrise Lion’s Club. The all-American meal is served from 8am to noon at Drake Park. It costs $6 for adults and $4 for kids, and proceeds go to local charities.

Pet Parade: A local favorite since the 1930s, the Pet Parade is traditionally Bend’s largest parade, with 8,000 spectators and participants, including humans, canines, farm animals, iguanas, hamsters – you name it – all dressed in red, white, and blue. The meandering menagerie hits the streets of downtown Bend at 10:00 am. If you want to participate, the lineup and decorating party takes place at 9:30 am in the parking lot across from the Deschutes Public Library. If you prefer to spectate, get there early. Parking can be hard to find.

Old Fashioned July 4th Festival: After the parade, head over to Drake Park from 11-4 for games, live music, food, children’s activities, and more than 130 artisan booths.

Camping, floating, and hiking: Independence Day is typically one of the busiest times of the year in Bend. So do your research for campsites prior to the weekend, as many of them may be full (this complete list of campgrounds and RV parks might help: http://www.visitbend.com/Discover_Bend_Oregon/Campground-RV-Parks/). Canoeing, kayaking, standup paddling, and floating will be a popular way to cool off; click here to get the low-down on that. Finally, escape the crowds with a hike! The Forest Service gives current conditions on trails in the area, some of which might still be snowed in. Check out this page from Visit Bend for more ideas: http://www.visitbend.com/Bend_Oregon_Activities_Recreation/Summer-Fun/Hiking/

Fireworks: End an awesomely American day with a fireworks show! They’re launched from on top of Pilot Butte at 10:00 pm. Bring your blanket, chairs, and craft brew of choice to virtually any spot in Bend that has a view of the butte and you’ll be set.

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