Around Central Oregon, we like to say that summer doesn’t really begin until the Fourth of July—so we make sure to celebrate in style. Each year, Bendites mark the festive holiday by marching in an adorable pet parade, taking to the streets with a rowdy bike ride, floating the Deschutes River and admiring the booming fireworks display on Pilot Butte.
If you’re interested in joining the fun, we’ve rounded up some of the best, most patriotic events around the city. Here’s a quick look:
- Pet Parade in Bend
- Deschutes River Float
- Bend Fireworks
- More Fourth of July Celebrations in Central Oregon
So as you make plans for Independence Day, here’s your guide to enjoying the 4th of July in Bend.
Pet Parade in Bend
One of Bend’s oldest Fourth of July traditions has nothing to do with hamburgers, fireworks or backyard games. The July 4th Pet Parade has been a Bend institution since 1924 and remains a beloved attraction today, drawing thousands of participants and cheery onlookers every summer.
The event is exactly what it sounds like: Pet owners are encouraged to dress their furry friends in patriotic costumes and march from Harmon Park to Drake Park near the Deschutes River waterfront. Dogs are easily the most common animal along the route, but pets in past years have included lizards, pigs, horses and even goldfish; stuffed animals are even okay if someone wants to march but doesn’t have a living, breathing fur baby. (Note that rabbits, cats and aggressive animals are not permitted.)
When: July 4, 2023; staging at 9 a.m., parade at 10 a.m.
Where: Harmon Park (1100 NW Harmon Blvd., Bend) to Drake Park (777 NW Riverside Blvd., Bend)
Event information: 4th of July Pet Parade
Bend Freedom Float
Is there any better way to welcome summer than by floating the Deschutes River? We think not, which is why we’d suggest a river float as part of your Fourth of July festivities.
No, it’s not an official event—but you’ll see plenty of red, white and blue when you float the river between Riverbend Park and Drake Park near downtown. Along the way, you’ll float past the Old Mill District’s many shops and restaurants, get soaked in the Bend Whitewater Park (should you so choose—you can also take out and walk around the rapids) and cut through a quiet neighborhood before arriving at Drake Park. From there, a shuttle takes you to the starting point—where you can continue your Fourth of July celebrations accordingly.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4, 2023
Where: Park and Float (1000 SW Bradbury Way, Bend)
Pilot Butte is a local icon; it’s the tallest point within Bend city limits, home to popular hiking trails, and famous for 360º views from a wide-open summit. Every summer, Pilot Butte also hosts the Bend, Oregon fireworks display—delivering one of the region’s biggest, brightest fireworks shows.
The 20-minute show can be seen wherever the butte is visible around town; a few of our favorite spots to watch include Providence Park and Ponderosa Park—both of which boast playgrounds, restrooms, and plenty of grassy space to spread a blanket.
When: 10 p.m. July 4, 2023
Where: Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint (along Highway 20, Bend)
Event information: 4th of July Fireworks
Using Fireworks in Bend, Oregon
In 2021, the Bend City Council voted to permanently end the sale and use of fireworks within city limits. By the Fourth of July, Bend typically experiences warm weather and dry conditions—both factors that create the potential for firework-related danger across the city. Please help keep Bend safe and fire-free by leaving your own fireworks at home. Learn more about the Bend fireworks ban.
More Fourth of July Celebrations in Central Oregon
Independence Day in Bend is certainly a blast—but celebrations occur throughout Central Oregon. Here’s a quick rundown:
Fourth of July in Redmond: Redmond’s annual Independence Day celebration includes a patriotic parade and family-friendly fair in downtown—as well as a fireworks display at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center. See what else to do for the 4th of July in Redmond.
Prineville 4th of July Celebration: The oldest city in Central Oregon celebrates with a parade and vintage festival that includes local food vendors, music, games and regional arts and crafts vendors. When the sun sets, Prineville will host a dramatic fireworks display. See what else is in store for Prineville’s 4th of July Celebration.
Independence Day Celebration in Madras: Celebrate the Fourth of July in Madras with a community breakfast, old-school parade, flag ceremony and celebration that includes music and food from local vendors.
La Pine Frontier Days: Celebrate Independence Day with La Pine Frontier Days—a four-day festival that includes a parade, interpretive displays, living-history actors and actresses, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, live music and—of course—a lively fireworks display.
4th of July Festival & Bike Parade: The Village at Sunriver is a popular shopping center in the heart of Sunriver—and is the host of the community’s beloved 4th of July Festival & Bike Parade. For a small fee, anyone can register their bike for a family-friendly parade that ends at the festival. Following the parade, the event’s wide-ranging activities include carnival games, pony rides, live entertainment and food.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
4th of July in Redmond, Oregon (2023)
Every Fourth of July, Redmond residents and visitors alike gather to celebrate the birth of the United States. It’s a festive time in what locals call “Flag City U.S.A.” (more on that later), and the city celebrates accordingly—with a charmingly old-school parade, boisterous fireworks display and more.
Complete Guide to Food Trucks in Bend and the Surrounding Area
Over recent years, Bend, Oregon has become a foodie paradise. Aside from the nationally renowned chefs and the blossoming restaurant scene that offers tons of dining options, foodies now flock to Bend for a more indie dining experience. The food truck trend has proven to be much more than a trend, as more and more pods of deliciousness pop up around town. These pods typically include a variety of food trucks situated around a central location that more often than not acts as a tap house. Many of them offer indoor and outdoor seating, a variety of beer, wine and cider along with firepits, stages for musical performances and more. With so many spots each offering different food trucks to try, it might be tough to figure out where to start. Read on for a list of some highly recommended spots to try out, and start your own foodie adventure.
There's just something about Bend, Oregon. The high desert oasis has something to offer visitors year-round. From nearly every vantage point in Bend, it's easy to see why this town has become an outdoor paradise. Bend, Oregon has been on dozens of best-of lists, highlighting its livability, its outdoor opportunities, its pet-friendliness. When you'll visit, you discover that's all true. But dig deeper to find just how much this place has to offer.
Deschutes River is a Central Oregon
Playground For All
You can hear them before you see them. About 30 four-legged endurance athletes chomping at the bit for another chance to prove their worth and provide you with an ear-to-ear grin that will last an entire day.