Fourth of July in Bend is infamous for its eclectic events and all-day party atmosphere. Checking out the Pet Parade is a must, and riding in the Freedom Ride at least once is a rite of passage for many Bendites on Independence Day. But the community event that reigns supreme is the Bend July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, which explodes over Pilot Butte every year.
In October, the Bend City Council made last year's temporary ban on fireworks permanent to prepare for hot weather and dry conditions. Small items such as Smokey Snakes and poppers will be allowed, but items with large amounts of sparks and explosions are banned.
This means residents and visitors looking for a firework fix will be forced to turn their focus toward Pilot Butte at 10 p.m., as this will be the only legal fireworks show in Bend this July 4. The show lasts for about 20 minutes and can be seen from just about anywhere in town, making it hard to miss.
Historically, around five fire engines have been staged on Pilot Butte to mitigate fire damage, with crews prepping for days beforehand to make sure fuels in the area are reduced. As in years past, organizers will also spray water and foam on sensitive areas prior to the show, further ensuring safety for those on the butte and beyond.
Other areas in the western U.S. have switched to synchronized drone shows in order to relieve fire-prone areas of pressure created from the explosions of large pyrotechnic shows. Some in Bend have suggested we pivot to this style, but time will tell if this comes to fruition.
In the meantime, sit back, stay safe, and let the professionals do the (fire)work this season!
Pilot Butte Fireworks Show
July 4, 10pm
Pilot Butte State Park
NE Pilot Butte Summit Dr.