By Tara Marsh
Photos by Michelle Schleich
Looking around the arid and dusty landscape, watching people come and go on the other side of a wire fence, four-year-old Paul asked his father, “Why are those people behind fences?”
“No, son, those people are not behind a fence, we are,” his father replied. That is one of the memories Paul Grayber holds on to from his early childhood spent in an American internment camp in Texas that housed Japanese, Germans, Italians, and South Americans during World War II.
Paul was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to German immigrant parents. The oldest of three boys, Paul and his family were picked up by the FBI in January 1943, leaving nearly all their belongings behind, and taken to Crystal City, Texas, where they lived in the internment camp for the next two years. “I used to crawl underneath the wire fence and steal grapefruits off a tree,” Paul remembers.
The Grayber family, along with hundreds of other detainees, were treated well, he said. But the feeling of restriction was real. “The freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of everything was curtailed because we were imprisoned, really,” he said.
By late 1944, Paul’s father was offered a deal. The family could either choose to be exchanged for captured American citizens being held in Germany or remain in the internment camp. Many years later, Paul still questions the irony of that offer. “Exchanging Americans for Americans.”
“My father decided he didn’t want to be behind barbed wire and took the deal. That was a big mistake,” Paul said. They boarded a Swedish ship in January 1945. After sailing for 11 days, the Grayber family disembarked in Marseille, France, and traveled by train to Switzerland to be processed into Germany. They moved in with Paul’s maternal grand parents in a tiny cabin in the mountainous region of the Black Forest.
Years of battle had devastated just about every corner of the country. There was very little food, no jobs, no
“For the next five years, there was nothing,” Paul said in a somber voice. “You have no idea what having nothing means. With three small boys, it was tough.” In the summer of 1945, just a few months after the war
in Europe ended, Paul’s father set off to Stuttgart to find employment, taking young Paul along. The pair hitched a ride in the back of a truck, but about 10 miles down the road they were stopped at a French checkpoint.
“After the war, Germany was divided into four different military zones,” explained Paul. The Black Forest was in the
French zone, the north was the English zone, east Germany was controlled by the Russians, and the south was in the hands of the Americans. Paul and his father were taken into a small chapel. Standing in front of the altar was a French major in full uniform. Speaking in broken German, the major asked who they were and where they were going.
Paul’s father handed over his identification papers and explained the situation. When the major asked who the boy
was, his father replied, “He’s an American citizen. He’s my son.” To that, the French major spat on the papers and tossed them to the floor. “Mah!” he shouted. “America! No good!”
“Here he was, wearing a uniform that the Americans gave him along with the Colt .45 on his hip,” Paul said, shaking his head. “Americans saved France and supplied them. I don’t know why he had that attitude.”
At that time, Paul explained, the French military would capture any males who were walking around loose and
send them off to the French Foreign Legion. Because Paul’s father was only a legal immigrant to the United States, not a full-edged citizen, he was vulnerable to the volatile political situation at that time.
“The major told my dad, ‘Thank your son. He’s an American. If it wasn’t for him, you’d be going into the French
Foreign Legion.’” Paul and his father were finally sent on their way. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Stuttgart, eventually returning to America when he was 18.
In 1947, not too far away from Stuttgart, Marie-Florence Gimel was born in the small village of Cruseilles, France, in Chateau de Pontverre. Her childhood surroundings were idyllic, just minutes from Annecy, also known as the Venice of France, and Talloires, a picturesque village on the shores of Lake Annecy.
“It is a beautiful, beautiful place,” she said. “Surrounded by the French Alps.”
She was the youngest child of renowned French expressionist painter Georges Gimel. “I came from a very interesting family, but I didn’t know it at the time,” said Marie-Florence. Her father was part of the French Resistance and compiled his art and writing about the horrors of war and the efforts of the Resistance in a book titled Le Calvaire de la Résistance (The Calvary of the Resistance).
When preparing to share her story, Marie-Florence dusted off her copy of the book and opened its pages, briey.
“I never looked at the book because it’s very sad. The war was such an atrocity. I’m too sensitive for that. I can’t read those things,” she said.
The next few years working and saving money to achieve her childhood dream: to travel the world. To kick off the adventure, she and two friends took advantage of Greyhound’s promotion at the time: 99 days for $99. With nothing but their backpacks, the group tra-
versed the United States and Canada. The year was 1968. Later, the three friends embarked on a trip around the globe, visiting just about every Asian country, the Middle
East, and Central and South America while meeting remarkable people along the way.
“It changed my life,” said Marie-Florence. “It changed my approach and attitude to life. My dream was always to travel. I was not book smart, but I was street smart. As a student, the only subject I was good at was geography!” she said, laughing.
But perhaps for her father, who was in his mid-40s during the war, putting together the images and words was healing. After the war, fellow artists in his circle, including Monet and Picasso, traveled to the south of France to focus on their art, explained Marie-Florence. “My dad would say to them, ‘While you guys went off to paint flowers, I was at war. After the war, there is no way I can paint flowers.’ That is why he made this book,” she related.
Her older brothers now own Chateau de Pontverre and their father’s original work and are renovating the chateau with the intention of creating a permanent museum of Gimel’s work. Her father died when Marie-Florence was 14, but before his death he made it a point to introduce his daughter to the wonder of art. “He took me to the Louvre, but he didn’t want me to tour the whole place. He said only take it in a little bit at a time so I wouldn’t forget anything,” she said.
After working as an au pair in England and Holland, Marie-Florence arrived in Los Angeles on her 20th birthday.
The journey wasn’t always postcard perfect. "The Middle East was particularly dicey and dangerous, she said, especially for women. Women had to be escorted by a male everywhere they went and not be seen alone.
“But it taught me how to handle just about any situation,” she said.
Around the time Marie-Florence was earning her stripes as a world traveler, Paul was immersed in the world of show business and modeling in New York. In 1966, Paul had a part onstage in an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House, standing next to Placido Domingo as the famous singer performed.
Paul spent many years modeling for renowned designers,including Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and John Weitz. By the 1970s, he had made his way to Los Angeles, where his rugged good looks landed him spots in Western-themed commercials. He became pals with Tom Selleck and appeared in one of the last episodes of Magnum, P.I., titled “L.A.”
Marie-Florence returned to Los Angeles and was one of four managers of a restaurant near Universal Studios. Running into Hollywood celebrities was a regular occurrence, but Marie-Florence wasn’t too interested in the world of show business.
“I never recognized anybody,” she said. “All the waiters and waitresses were aspiring actors and couldn’t believe I didn’t know many of the celebrities who would frequent the restaurant. They would say to me, ‘You French people are really out of it!’”
Fate was starting to close in for Paul and Marie-Florence. Their paths, unique and colorful on their own, were about to cross. Marie-Florence, now a single mother of an 11-year-old son, had just ended a tumultuous relationship with a Hollywood screen-writer and was burning off steam at the YMCA.
Paul just happened to be exercising nearby and noticed the petite blonde and wondered why she wasn’t home watching the Academy Awards. Paul struck up a conversation, but Marie-Florence wasn’t interested. “I was so sick and tired of men. He asked me if I had someone and I said yes because I didn’t want it to go any further,” she said with a laugh.
Later, Marie-Florence was back at the YMCA and pointed Paul out to a friend. “What?!” the friend exclaimed, not under-standing why Marie-Florence wasn’t interested in the handsome gentleman.
“My friend said to me, ‘I wouldn’t mind waking up to a man like that!” she recalled.
Eventually Marie-Florence agreed to a date. But there was one very, very important catch—her son.
“Paul really connected with my son Philippe. That was very important to me. It was my priority. They bonded so well I told Paul, ‘You married me because of my son,’” she said. Paul and Marie-Florence were married in 1989, and it didn’t
take long for them to set out on an adventure together.
In the early 1990s, they accepted an offer to manage a hotel on the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean and off they went, along with young Philippe.
It was the idyllic island life for a few years, but as Philippe got older, Paul felt that the young man needed more structure than the lax island life could offer, so they returned to the States.
Paul and Marie-Florence traveled up the coastline from Los Angeles to Portland, exploring and contemplating their
next adventure. Paul had a friend who lived on a ranch in Wamic, Oregon, and he suggested they consider Bend.
The Graybers fell in love with Central Oregon and its snow-capped mountains and bright blue skies. In yet
another stroke of fate, or perhaps even luck, they were strolling around downtown Bend and saw that the Romantique Boutique was for sale. (Coincidentally, Marie-Florence’s maternal grandparents had been instrumental in starting the world’s first “department” store, a place where a myriad of wares could be purchased.) Making another leap of faith, they bought the business. The year was 1995. “I did not inherit my father’s gift of artistic ability, but I always found my creativity in other ways, mainly fashion,” said Marie-Florence.
Settling in Bend and owning an upscale women’s boutique was a perfect fit. “It’s not easy for visitors to come into a former lumber town and find high-end fashions for women,” said Paul. “But Marie-Florence was able to accommodate the fashion market here—half of our clientele are from out of town and make it a point to return.”
You never know who you might meet in Bend. On any given day, you may and Paul and Marie-Florence Grayber
are in Romantique, greeting visitors with an old-world charm and genuine warmth that hint at their rich story and the
winding path that brought them here, together.
The Doubletree Hotel sits on the edge of the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID), providing Bend visitors with excellent hospitality and a front door that leads right into the heart of Bend, our downtown.
This access is provided by a long staircase from the Doubletree property to Lava Rd. This year, the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and the Doubletree Hotel brought the condition of this staircase to the attention of the City of Bend, who owns the property.
The City of Bend quickly responded and they were able to complete the project before winter set it. The Downtown Bend Business Association and the Doubletree Hotel would like to extend their appreciation to the City of Bend for helping visitors access the Downtown Bend boutiques, spas and restaurants owned by local Bend families!
BendTel is a locally owned and operated telecommunications company with a mission to provide Central Oregon customers with the highest quality communication services at affordable prices. They are a full service, facilities based, Competitive Local Exchange Company (CLEC), that has been focused on providing voice, long distance, data, Gigabit Internet and hosting services to businesses in the Central Oregon area since 2003.
BendTel is constantly working on expanding their Gigabit Fiber Internet footprint throughout downtown and adjacent areas. Their use of Gigabit Bandwidth Internet and the latest cutting-edge technology recently earned them an award at the 2019 Oregon Connections Telecommunications conference. They were awarded for their “Excellence in Telecommunications Projects and Regional/Local Strategies” for developing and implanting innovative projects that provide better access, reliability and affordability to telecommunication services.
BendTel is also the official sponsor of the annual Downtown Bend Celebration Night that happens every May and the WiFi sponsor of Bend Oktoberfest. Both of these events are fundraisers for the local nonprofit, The Downtown Bend Business Association. BendTel is a key asset to the health and vitality of Downtown Bend – and it’s not just about the direct services they provide. Because of BendTel’s support for Downtown Bend, we are able to have things like flower baskets and Holiday decorations!
Right now, BendTel is offering an exclusive deal for DBBA Members! This offer includes a Sangoma IP Phone –featuring Voicemail to Email & Find Me/Follow Me, gFiber Internet (50x10Mbps) with reliable service and guaranteed speeds on their multi-gigabit capable gFiber network and bHosted Managed Voice – backed by their local support team. Plus, when you sign up, you’ll get the first month for free!
Call BendTel today, and join the DBBA/BendTel Team! You’ll be glad that you did.
BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford launches their 10th season with two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur, a profound pianist and vocalist.
“Diane’s performances exemplify excellence, and the local Bend community highly anticipates her return,” said Samuel Johnson, General Manager of the Oxford Hotel Bend. “I can’t think of a better performance to kick-off the series. As we enter 10 years of Jazz at the Oxford, we're thrilled to welcome back the esteemed Ms. Schuur after eight years. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors, their generosity continues to make this a truly exceptional world-class event.”
Schuur has long been regarded as one of Contemporary Jazz’s leading vocalists. Nicknamed “Deedles” for her impressive scatting ability, she is as eclectic as she is brilliant. Schuur naturally composes an exquisite composition of jazz that incorporates various elements of sub, and undeniably superb vocalism.
Resulting from a loss of vision due to birth complications, Schuur read Braille-transcribed lyrics during performances and recording sessions. Nonetheless, she found the use of Braille impractical as it required one of her hands while playing the piano. Schuur's instinctive understanding of music translates into compositions that are free-spirited and without boundaries.
Schuur has gone on to perform with other highly-regarded artists such as Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie, in addition to specialized engagements such as an appearance on Sesame Street, and an astonishing eleven appearances on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.
Arguably Schuur’s most notable achievements are her Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Female Vocal Performance in 1986 and 1987. Schuur was later nominated for the same award in 1989, in addition to Best Traditional Female Pop Performance in 1991 and 1993.
Schuur will perform three shows, all of which are sold out.
· Friday, October 18, at 7:00 pm
· Saturday, October 19, at 5:00 pm
· Saturday, October 19, at 8:00 pm
Show tickets are sold out, but the public is invited to a FREE Music Education Workshop on Saturday, October 19th, at 11:15 am at Oxford Hotel Bend. Hosted by Georges Bouhey, all ages and skill levels are welcome to gain insight and musical life lessons from Schuur. Seating is limited, so arrive early.
BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford is made possible by the support of several local companies that are dedicated to the cultural enrichment of Central Oregon. In addition to BendBroadband, the series is supported by returning sponsors Central Oregon Daily, The Bulletin, Mockingbird Gallery, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, First Interstate Bank, Subaru of Bend and 10below Restaurant. The series is produced by Patrick Lamb Productions of Portland, Oregon.
About BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford: Now in its 10th year, BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford brings talented musicians to the intimate ballroom of Oxford Hotel Bend, located in the heart of downtown Bend. Patrick Lamb Productions produces the series, which features an array of world-class performers. Local community sponsors are BendBroadband, Mockingbird Gallery, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, The Bulletin, Central Oregon Daily, Subaru of Bend, First Interstate Bank and 10below Restaurant. For more information, visit jazzattheoxford.com.
About Oxford Hotel Bend: Oxford Hotel Bend is Bend’s first and only luxury boutique hotel. Located in the heart of downtown, the seven-story Oxford Hotel features 59 spacious and luxurious executive suites, many with views of the Cascade Mountains. Designed with the leisure and business traveler in mind, Oxford Hotel Bend features a variety of amenities and services intended to up the ante on the traditional boutique hotel experience. For the last seven years, Oxford Hotel Bend has been recognized as a Top 25 US Hotel in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. For more information, visit oxfordhotelbend.com.
Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild will have their annual show on Oct 19-20 hosted by the At Liberty Arts Collaborative. This 2 day event features works by over 30 metal artists from jewelers, to sculptors, knife makers, welders and blacksmiths. These metal smiths will amaze you with some fascinating works of art that can also be purchased.
One of the artists that you can experience at the upcoming COMAG show is Miguel Edwards. Miguel is a public artist, sculptor, photographer, and culture-maker in Bend, OR.
In Seattle where he moved from, he was President of Center on Contemporary Art, a historic and growing art non-profit. He also built dynamic large-scale public art installations, as-well-as, photographing for local and regional magazines. Art in Seattle's Public Spaces, a book for art and architecture lovers that Miguel co-created with Jim Rupp recently won a Silver Design Award.
Miguel and his wife Cori, are thrilled to be living in Bend now where Miguel was able to build his dream shop and spend more time sculpting. He loves investing in the local community and culture, working with Downtown Bend, Bend Design, Tedx Bend, COMAG (Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild), Old Mill and so much more.
Earlier this year at WinterFest you may have seen Hope Rising, the giant stainless cauldron that he made for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics.
This summer, Miguel began collaborating with Mark Meulebroeck of Red Miter Furniture building heirloom quality furniture. Miguel has been invited to show at Art Basel in Miami this December and has an opening in Palm Desert California with Coda Gallery, his new rep. (Click here for more info)
His work can be seen at:
If you are interested in discussing any projects with Miguel, please reach out, he always loves meeting new people!
Doors to the COMAG show open 11:00 – 9:00pm, Saturday 10/19 and 10:00am-6:00pm on Sunday 10/20. At Liberty Arts Collaborative is located in downtown Bend at 849 Wall St.
Featured at this years show is a collaborative piece 'The Mantis’
A 6 foot forged steel sculpture created in coordination with Russian artist
Anton Yakusheva, of Moscow. He visited Bend in July 2019, and working
with 19 of COMAG’s artist for 4 days and accumulative 400 hours and many
hundreds of hand forged pieces of steel and copper we created The Bug
At Liberty New Exhibition:
Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson
Opening Reception with the Artist on Friday, November 1st at 5:30pm
Panel Discussion on Saturday, November 16th at 11:00am
At Liberty Arts Collaborative, a year-round dedicated arts space and cultural hub in Downtown Bend, is pleased to announce their new exhibition: Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson. This exhibition will open November 1, 2019 with a First Friday Artist’s Reception and will be on view through January 4, 2020.
Leah Wilson of Eugene merges art and science in her paintings and sculptures that explore changing ecosystems. Her work is inspired by her curiosity and the sense of wonder she feels when studying the natural world. The majority of Wilson’s work in this exhibition and since 2012, has focused on a place-based exploration of ecosystem change over time at the H.J. Andrews Research Forest, a 16,000-acre ecological research site in Oregon’s Western Cascades Mountains administered cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest.
Andries Fourie, who is curating the upcoming show for At Liberty, says "Leah is interested in observing and recording natural phenomena as they change over time in one specific place." One of the highlights of the exhibition will be a sculpture entitled “Constructing Water,” a multi-layered, illuminated piece made of a polyester film called duralar. (see images below)
On Saturday, November 16th at 11:00am, At Liberty will host an interdisciplinary panel discussion in conjunction with the Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson exhibition. The panel, moderated by exhibition curator Andries Fourie, will consist of artist Leah Wilson, Dr. Brooke Penaluna (research fish biologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S.D.A Forest Service) Dr. Michael Nelson (a philosopher and economist who is Oregon State’s lead principal investigator at Andrews) and Louise Shirley (Curator of Natural History at the High Desert Museum). The discussion will provide context for Wilson’s artwork and explore the convergence of art and science as ways of investigating the natural world.
More about At Liberty Arts Collaborative: At Liberty, located in Bend’s historic Liberty Theatre provides an inspiring and dynamic space for the exploration of arts and culture, through exhibitions, collaborations, and events. For more information on the space, renting the space, or ideas for collaboration, visit: www.atlibertyarts.com.
Exhibition Calendar of Events:
It's First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Bend! Here's what we've got going on:
Bend Film HQ opens for First Friday
Join Bend Film At Liberty Arts, 849 NW Wall Street, for First Friday in downtown Bend! Enjoy wine by Elixir as you browse the beautiful festival guide, ask us questions about films, and watch festival trailers.
Buy your Festival passes and tickets or sign up to become a year-round BendFilm member. Now is the time to start planning the 16th Annual BendFilm Festival to watch an amazing lineup of indie films, meet filmmakers from all over the world, and more!
Holiday Race Registration at Footzone
Visit FootZone at Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk on 10/4, and sign up for all your favorite holiday races in one place!
Register for I Like Pie 2019, and get a tasty piece of pie, and then wander over to the Jingle Bell Run table for a candy cane with your registration!
First Friday Cosmic Moon at Wren and Wild
Grab a friend this first Friday for an evening of cosmic Moon Juice drinks and art with Alex Drury. Let's sip and chat all about this one wild life we are all living 💙
Oregon Natural Desert Association & Merrell at Outside In
Our October Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk will be on Friday, Oct. 4th. Local non-profit Oregon Natural Desert Association will be here and promoting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival that is showing that day. You can also searn about their programs and how you can get involved with this awesome non-profit.
Also, one of our favorite brands, Merrell will have a table with complimentary beverages, a raffle to win Merrell swag and we will be talking about our Nature Hike that will be the following morning on Oct. 5th. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Oregon Natural Desert Association.
Art Walk at Village Interiors on Lava Ave.
Please join us for snacks and beverages in Downtown Bend for First Friday Artwalk: October 4th 5:00-8:00PM.
FF Artwalk October: Moontea x FOUND
Introducing eco-friendly art by Moontea! Small batches of hand-carved wood block prints on linen and recycled paper with water-based inks by Kristin Loganbill known as Moontea Artwork.
Official artist exhibition October 4, 2019 (5pm - 8pm)
Nicole Fontana-Campbell at Deschutes!
Come by the Pub during the Downtown Bend, Oregon First Friday Art Walk and welcome our artist of the month: Nicole Fontana-Campbell.
Nicole Fontana-Campbell has always loved the arts, especially painting. She pursued her dream by attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY
on a President's Scholarship, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After graduating in 2005, she launched Fontana Painting and has been painting ever since. She now lives in Bend, OR with her rambunctious family. Her murals and artwork can be found
all around town as she enjoys making contributing to her community.
First Friday at Red Chair Gallery
Please join us on this First Friday for an open reception at the Gallery. Red Chair will showcase the work of three artists in October.
Our display stands will show fused glass by Deb Borine. Her pieces include unique glass "landscapes" of our beautiful countryside, as well as plates and bowls rich in layered colors. Our walls will hold Linda Swindle's watercolors of kaleidoscope-hued animals, both wild and domestic. The garment rack will sport Swindle's hand-painted silk scarves. Also on display will be Jacqueline Newbold's watercolors of her recent travels to France and Italy.
Come in and see our special display this month.
Jenn Culp-Art Walk at Velvet
Born and raised in rural Idaho, Jenn spent countless hours outside. Her family road-tripped all around the west camping and exploring. Jenn’s parents both studied biology/botany and are avid birders. They taught her a lot about the natural world, and have always inspired her love of ecology and living creatures.
Living in this current moment/ our environment in a precarious state, humankind learning how to cope with the impact we make...her paintings have evolved into a sort of meditation, a therapy for dealing with emotional conflict concerning our environment. Grateful for the ecological systems and all the elements that compose life.
First Friday tasting with C4K!
Cause-driven coffee?! Yep! Please come join us at J Dub this Friday as we welcome Bend's own Coffee4Kids as they taste out their deliciously smooth cold brew coffee... also give a shot at their CBD-infused cold brew as it swirls through a house-made one-off specialty cocktail! Pair that along with J Dub's tasty weekend food specials and you have yourself a solid start to your Fall Fest weekend!
Friday At The Blacksmith
Absolutely one of favorite places for a glass of wine, a cold brew, a hand crafted cocktail & incredible menu! Oh!... and, of course, one of our favorites places to lay down some smooth grooves. Come on down & say hello!
Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour - Bend, OR
Toad&Co is on a mission to prove that living a sustainable life can be bold, badass, and COOL. The apparel industry is the 4th largest global polluter and the way we see it, you can either go nude or wear sustainable.
We're choosing to wear sustainable, and traversing the country in our '59 Shasta trailer Buffy to celebrate how your community is saving the planet - and we're coming to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Bend, OR!
Stop by to listen to shop, check out our trailer (with an interior made from completely sustainable materials), and learn about steps you can take to live a more sustainable life.
For more on the Toad&Co Save the Planet tour, head here: https://www.toadandco.com/save-the-planet
Downtown Bend would like to invite you to their largest fundraiser of the year, Bend Oktoberfest. Bend Oktoberfest is a two-day festival in Downtown Bend, Oregon featuring local beer, wine, and cider, traditional German foods (vendor list here), live music, absurd games, and ridiculous feats of strength. Bend Oktoberfest is free to attend, and the festival is family friendly with a kid’s zone sponsored by On Point Community Credit Union.
USA Today rated Bend Oktoberfest as on of the top Oktoberfest’s in the country, and it’s no wonder why. Bend Oktoberfest’s schedule of events boasts a Chicken Dance Flash Mob (happening at 1pm on Saturday), barrel rolling, a bratwurst toss, tricycle races, the Hammerschlagen, and a stein holding competition – just to name a few. Of course, you can’t talk about Bend Oktoberfest without talking about the Weiner Dog Races sponsored by Bend Veterinary Clinic and ran by the Humane Society of Central Oregon. The Weiner Dog races are scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, Sept 21st. The race can be viewed from the bleachers on Irving Ave next to the track, or from the Large LED Screen, sponsored by Elevate Pro AVL, on Oregon Ave next to the parking garage. For a full schedule of Bend Oktoberfest events, click here.
With over 16 different beers on tap, 2 ciders and 6 featured German wines – Bend Oktoberfest has something for everyone. While at Bend Oktoberfest this weekend, you can try unique brews like Holy Schmidt Oktoberfest Lager by Sunriver Brewing, The Iron Cross German Hefeweizen by Spider City Brewing, or Festbier by 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Bend Oktoberfest beers are local and donated to Bend Oktoberfest by breweries invested in their community’s growth and development. We applaud these local businesses for their contributions to the historic core of our city, Downtown Bend. For a full list of beers, click here.
100% of the funds raised at Bend Oktoberfest go directly to keeping Downtown Bend vibrant and thriving! Bend Oktoberfest is the only festival in downtown Bend that financially contributes to ongoing year-around beautification in our downtown. Join us to celebrate the heart of our City, Downtown Bend, and come together for music, dancing and community fun!
Bend Oktoberfest is happening Friday, September 20th from 3pm to 10pm and Saturday, September 21st from 11am to 10pm. For more information, including the schedule of events, beer list, directions and more – visit www.bendoktoberfest.com
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
In addition to our other services, we are the 100% responsible for the cleanliness and beautification of the Downtown Bend economic improvement district (EID).
Our scope of work includes, but is not limited to:
We would like to extend a huge “Thank you!” to our staff, board, volunteers, donors and community partners for helping us keep Downtown Bend beautiful! By being committed to positive communication, community support, and a shared love for Downtown Bend, we can continue to keep our Downtown vibrant and thriving!
We are excited about several new Downtown Bend beautification projects we have coming up, stay posted to learn about all the great stuff that we have in store for Downtown Bend!