Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July | Bend Freedom Ride

4th of July | Bend Freedom Ride!
When: July 4th
Hours: Any time!
Where: Usually Pioneer Park
Who: Anyone and Everyone
Who to Contact: No one! Just get on your bike and start riding!

4th of July in Bend, Oregon has always been a fun and unique celebration and this year won't be any different. The Pet Parade kicks off the day followed by a festival in Drake Park and ends with the fireworks at Pilot Butte.

4th of July History in Bend, Oregon

Bend prides itself on being unique and loves to have different celebrations. This was never truer than in the middle of the last century here in Bend. From 1933 to 1965 Bend celebrated the "4th of July Stampede and Water Pageant."  The celebration normally lasted around 3 days and had its peak in 1940 with more than 18,000 revelers: which was double the population of the town at the time!  Local businesses even made floats and rode them through Drake Park.

The Freedom Ride

One of the most unique and quite controversial events today in Bend is the Freedom Ride. The Freedom Ride began about 12 years ago when a bunch of people got together to ride their bikes all across town.  The ride now consists of over 1000 riders, but there are no permits, no official closures, and no official starting time.  The ride usually starts at Pioneer Park, goes through downtown, and over to Columbia Park.  Police do patrol the ride more and more due to the amount of not only people, but intoxicated people as well.  Some people are overwhelmed by the traffic blockages, costumes, or lack thereof, and have started having "anti-freedom freedom rides." 

This particular event is put on by Rob Landauer who says he loves the Freedom Ride but was disappointed by all of the drunk people, the littering, and the clogging of downtown.  His ride will try to abide by traffic laws, be less disruptive, and will focus more on actually riding a bike.

No matter what you decide to do this 4th of July you're bound to have a great time.  There is plenty going on all day, from kid friendly games, a firework show, to riding your bike all through downtown, and let's face it, you're in one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest. 

Birtola Garmyn High Desert Realty
101 NE Greenwood Ave. Bend 97701

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