BEND, OR -- Oregon WinterFest takes place in Bend, this weekend; although, the weather could be closer to spring-like for the annual celebration of all things frigid.
Event Coordinator Kirsten Morrell is watching the forecast closely, but isn’t worried. She tells KBND News, it could be worse, "We’ve had experiences in the past where winter just hasn’t arrived and we’ve kind of had to roll with it. We bring some snow down from Mt. Bachelor for the rail jam and that usually does it. And it’s been super fantastic, actually, that we did get some snow here in town, because that gets us really jazzed for this weekend." In 2015, WinterFest organizers were forced to cancel all snow-related events due to poor conditions. This year, Morrell says they’re watching for wind and rain, but she doesn’t expect the weather will negatively impact the overall event.
"We like to call it Oregon’s biggest party of the winter, because there’s not a lot of major winter events here in Central Oregon," says Morrell. "There are a ton of activities going on throughout the weekend. We open up the event at 5 p.m. on Friday and that starts with fire pits and music, and food and shopping." And, she says there are a couple of new additions for 2018, "In the past we haven’t had a gourmet food and lifestyles tent, and we do this year; so, that’s really exciting. Then, we also have a Polar Market, which is outdoors. It’s like a sporting and outdoor-goods sort of marketplace."
Event proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon. Last year, Oregon WinterFest raised nearly $11,000 for the local nonprofit.