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Let There Be Light

Local at the Tower!

This event was rescheduled from November 2020.  Tickets are valid for the new date.   If you have any questions please contact the Box Office at 541-317-0700 or info@towertheatre.org 

Tickets:  $7 plus $3 Historic Theatre Preservation fee

Using archives of the Deschutes Historical Museum and interviews with former pageant royalty and event organizers, “Let There Be Light: The History of Bend’s Water Pageant” details the unique night-time parade of floats on Mirror Pond that married theater and historical pageantry every July 4th for over three decades.

Born out of a drive to increase commerce during The Great Depression, the annual Central Oregon tradition grew from humble beginnings in 1933 to an event that drew thousands of tourists to Drake Park through 1965. Hundreds of volunteers dedicated countless hours and energy to produce the affair, known for its towering arch illuminated with colorful lights and the iconic Queen’s Swan float.

A panel of original Pageant participants will share their memories and insights on this nostalgic chapter of Bend history immediately following the screening (25 minutes; unrated). The panel features:

·       Kelly Cannon-Miller, Executive Director, DCHS

·       Brent Barnett, Director, Future Filmworks

·       Paul Reynolds, Former Pageantarian and mayor

·       Jim Crowell, local historian

·       Harriet Clark, Water Pageant Court, 1957

·       Joanie Benson Wheeler, Water Pageant Court, 1959

·       Pat Hollenbeck Myer, Water Pageant Court, 1959

DVDs of the documentary by Future Filmworks, produced by the Deschutes County Historical Society, will be available for purchase.

Funding for this presentation made possible in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust Creativity Grant.

Our re-opening plan adheres to the current lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions by Governor Brown, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Deschutes County Health Services.


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