Macy Crowe
The Bulletin

What: Bend Fall Festival

When: 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Downtown Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: oregonfestival.com/fall-festival or 541-323-0964

After the smoky summer and before the winter snow, locals have a few weeks of colorful leaves, crisp mornings and bright evenings, sans tourists. So naturally how does Central Oregon celebrate this magical time of year?

With a festival, of course.

Bend’s Fall Festival invites families to stroll the downtown blocks looking for flavored olive oils, locally made caramel candy, hand-crafted jewelry and fresh hop brews. The live music (see pages 3 and 5 for more details), shopping, food and casual setting draw a fun crowd. Prepare for some “Oooh Barracuda” from this year’s audience when the Heart tribute band takes the stage.

On Wall and Bond streets in between Oregon and Minnesota, the event features two stages for live music, 18 food carts, a family fun area and 100 fine artists.

The artwork includes ceramics, paintings, photography and blown glass, jewelry and clothing, to name a few.

This year’s festival will also have an imported goods section featuring vendors selling imported items, such as Wayi Clothing’s bamboo apparel and Hawaiian Moon’s aloe vera skin creams.

The pie baking contest and pumpkin carving competition will also return this year. Participants can bake any type of pie entirely from scratch. This year there will be two pie categories: fruit and other.

Event coordinator Kirsten Morrell has already had an inquiry for a meat pie. The pie baking contest takes place 1 p.m. Saturday at Wall and Minnesota.

Halloween lovers will go head-to-head in the pumpkin carving contest, displaying their artistic talents. Competitors are given two pumpkins and must use their own carving tools. A past winner carved a “Nightmare Before Christmas” scene on to a pumpkin.

As far as dining options go, there’s no shortage. “From gourmet french fries to gourmet grilled cheese, rice bowls, tacos and Lebanese food,” Morrell said. “There’s a lot of variety.”

There will be a gourmet food and wine street, and a harvest market. A libation station will be set up for 21 and over visitors, offering Deschutes beer, Atlas cider, Crater Lake Spirits cocktails and red and white wines.

If you can spend just an hour at the festival and have to prioritize, the music should be at the top of the list. One stage is locals only and will showcase familiar names like Corner Gospel Explosion, Natty Red Band and Streetlight Moon. The other welcomes national and international bands like the aforementioned Heart tribute band or Flobots, a Denver rock band.

So bundle up and prepare for fall fun.

18344245