As summer weekends go in Bend, the upcoming one is among the biggest. We’re talking huge, folks. MASSIVE.

Wait, I need to lie down for a minute.

Not only is the 36th annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show drawing over 12,500 visitors to Central Oregon this weekend, but the Bank of the Cascades Bend Summer Festival is set to bring than 30,000 attendees to Downtown Bend between Friday, July 8 and Sunday, July 10.

It’s the 21st anniversary of the Bend Summer Festival, which kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. The event spans eight blocks of Downtown Bend and offers a full weekend packed with music, kids’ activities, dancing, art, food and fun.

Wanna know the best part? Admission is totally free!

That’s something to keep in mind as you scope out the amazing musical lineup.

Toad the Wet Sprocket will play at 9:30 p.m. on Friday as part of the Bend Summer Festival.

Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Mosley Watta and Tony Smiley will begin heating up the Clear 101.7 main stage. At 9:30 p.m., Toad the Wet Sprocket will perform for a solid hour-and-a-half. Not only that, but Friday night also features a special Listener Appreciation Concert featuring Night Ranger. The show is hosted by Classic Rock 98.3 The Twins at Troy Field (right by McMenamins downtown) and you can score free tickets by listening to The Twins and calling to win.

Music aside, there are a million other ways to have fun at the Bend Summer Festival. There will be more than 150 artisans/crafters from all over the country, five stages for entertainment, a food court boasting more than 20 vendors, a wide selection of microbrews from Deschutes Brewery, refreshing libations from Plum Cocktails, and fine wines from around the northwest. The Source Weekly is sponsoring a plethora of fabulous entertainment and activities just for kids.

The Bank of the Cascades Bend Summer Festival is produced by is presented by The Source and hosted by the Downtown Bend Business association.

Unless there’s a locust invasion or perhaps an unexpected bout of leprosy, you have no good excuses for missing this amazing event.

So will I see you there? If so, buy me a corndog. Pretty please?

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