Downtown Bend Celebrates New Beginnings


May Day has been observed by individuals and communities for centuries as a Springtime celebration.  It is a fun way to pay homage to new beginnings (which we are certainly experiencing this Spring!).

 Traditionally, people would leave a paper basket or cone with spring flowers and sweets on each other’s doorsteps, usually anonymously. This tradition was popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Louisa May Alcott wrote about May Day flower baskets in the late 1800s, and in the 1920s, some bold schoolchildren hung a May basket on the White House door for First Lady Grace Coolidge.

Downtown businesses are embracing new beginnings this Spring with a May Pole celebration on Friday, May 1. This idea is the brainchild of Dan, owner of local Downtown Bend businesses The Commons Café & Taproom. Dan and his staff are going to put up a May Pole on Friday morning, May 1, and businesses from the entire Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District are going to bring flowers to place around the pole. 

“The overwhelming amount of kindness, generosity and positivity that I’ve witnessed during this crisis from the local families who own small businesses in Downtown Bend has been nothing short of awe-inspiring,” says Mindy Aisling, executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association. “This May Day celebration is just one more way that those local Bend business owners continue to serve our greater Bend community.”

Please note — this is NOT a gathering or event. Businesses will be coming at their own time throughout the day to deliver flowers.

The greater Bend community is invited to swing by The Commons Café & Taproom to view the May Pole and flowers anytime during the first week of May. After that, flowers will be picked up by the person or business who contributed them, or they will be donated to The Commons and planted in the community plaza.

Masks are expected and appreciated, and social distancing is required by all who contribute or visit.



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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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