Q: People have been telling me Bend is known for their festivals. Can you tell me about some of them?

A: Bend is known for their festivals—now that is an understatement! We live for our festivals! Winterfest , a big three-day weekend in Bend designed to celebrate Central Oregon’s unique culture, music, art and beautiful winter environment. A variety of winter sports are included and every year a local charity is designated to receive a portion of the proceeds. It’s a winter wonderland.

There is Balloon’s Over Bend, the only event of its kind. This brings together businesses, tourists, and families across the nation who join together to celebrate something uniquely different – the launching of giant hot air balloons into the sky to raise community awareness. Balloons Over Bend supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Oregon, a community-based organization which provides youth with a fun and safe environment outside of the home.

Then there is Pole Pedal Paddle, of which The Hasson Company has been a main supporting sponsor for years. Pole Pedal Paddle is a race organized by the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation, a program which raises money for youth sports training and promotes positive values of competitive sports including skiing, kayaking and cycling. Last year we had three teams participate and it was way too much fun! You should join us; we have a booth set up and would welcome anyone to stop by anytime!

What I enjoy about Bend isn’t just the festivals… I could go on. It’s the love of the outdoors and the respect of the person next door. Everyone takes every opportunity to get together. There is the Sister’s Rodeo, the Deschutes County Fair, and the Summer and Fall Festival. People here want to get involved, whether it’s to organize, or to race, or relax on a blanket at the fair – there is a festival for everyone and a place at the festival for everyone. Hope to see you there!