There's nothing like a good party to shake off the mid-winter blues, and every year Bend does just that with its WinterFest.
Under the banner of "Music Sport Kids," WinterFest is three days (Feb. 13-15) of good old community bonding with a celebration of local art, food, and drink thrown in for good measure.
Among the diversions that will be centered around Bend's Old Mill District are ice carving exhibitions, Friday night fireworks extravaganza, the Mojo Music Eruption in the Festival Center, the WinterFest Marketplace (which showcases the Northwest's foods, wines, and fine art), children's activities at the Snowflake Village, a snowboard and ski rail jam, ice skating, a winter wine walk, and cross-country ski sprint races.
More than 25,000 people attended the event in 2008, according to their Web site. They expect that number to increase in 2009.
The event's main sponsor, LibertyBank, is selling WinerFest buttons, which you'll need to gain entrée to certain gatherings and to receive special discounts at participating retailers. The buttons go for $5 ($4 for kids 5-12) and a family 4 pack costs $15. Proceeds from button sales benefit Girls Go Outside, a local organization that creates "adventures for all girls that challenge them to embrace and celebrate their voices and strengths."