The seasons in Bend, Oregon are always heralded in by certain milestones. With winter, it’s the first snowfall. Spring is here when the little sand lilies start to poke their heads up along the trails.
And for me, nothing screams SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE! like the annual Sterling Savings Bank Bite of Bend.
The Bite of Bend takes place each year in downtown Bend. This year’s event is scheduled for June 25-26, and it’s jam-packed with a lot of exciting stuff. Some of the hottest happenings include:
- The Top Chef Competition. Two full sized kitchens will be set up in the middle of downtown. Local chefs will be presented with a mystery ingredient, and in 1 hour, must come up with a dish that wows the palettes of the panel of judges. The event will start with 8 chefs in a round robin format with the winners of each round advancing to the next stage culminating in the final round to determine the Top Chef.
- The Northwest Spirits & Mixology Show. This is the Northwest’s pre-eminent celebration of craft mixology and the spirits culture. I’m soooooooo looking forward to it, and since I’m guessing I’m not the only one, you’d be wise to buy your tickets early. They’ll be $10 at the gate, but if you stop by the Visit Bend office and purchase them ahead of time, you’ll get a screamin’ deal of only $8. There will be competitions, tastings, workshops and a lot more. This is your chance to experience the cutting edge of the cocktail culture! Be sure to catch the Bartender’s Brawl, too! Want to win a couple free tickets? Keep reading to the end of this post to find out how!
- The “bites.” This is one of my favorite parts of the whole event. Bend’s great restaurants, cafes, and eateries offer an array of specialty foods, including bite-size taster options. It’s a great way to sample food from a lot of different restaurants without breaking the bank or gaining 40 pounds.
- The Performance Stage. The live music this year promises to be outstanding! The lineup includes Bill Keale, The Staxx Brothers, Leif James, the Moon Mountain Ramblers, and a whole lot more. Check out the agenda and make sure to plan your outing accordingly!
- The 2nd Annual Beer run: The three-mile race will begin at noon on Saturday, June 25, and includes a loop through Drake Park with three beer stops. The run starts and finishes at Bond and Minnesota. Late registration is possible on race day beginning at 11 a.m. Look for the inflatable arch at the intersection of Minnesota and Bond! Every pre-registered participant will receive a Beer Run growler at the finish!
The Bite of Bend also includes a children’s area, a beer garden, fine food and wine, and a whole lot more.
Mark your calendar, grab your sunglasses, buy your Northwest Spirits & Mixology Show tickets, and join me in welcoming summer to Bend.
It’s about dang time!