Deschutes Historical Museum Announces Release of Let There Be Light: A History of Bend’s Water Pageant

(Graphic | Courtesy of The Deschutes County Historical Society)

The Deschutes County Historical Society announces the release of Let There Be Light: The History of Bend’s Water Pageant, a short film by Future Filmworks. Using the archives of the Deschutes Historical Museum and interviews with former pageant royalty and organizers, the film details the unique night-time parade of floats on Mirror Pond that married theater and historical pageantry. The film was funded through a generous gift from Cascade Heritage Foundation.

Born out of a drive to increase commerce during The Great Depression, the event grew from humble beginnings in 1933, to an event that drew thousands of tourists to Drake Park through 1965. Thousands of volunteer hours were dedicated each year to the production of the event, known for its towering arch illuminated with colorful lights and the Queen’s Swan float.

The film runs approximately 25 minutes and is available to stream online now through BendFilm’s Tin Pan Theater ( DVDs are available for sale through the museum’s website store (; curbside pick-up is available.

A sold-out premiere at The Tower Theatre scheduled for November 19 has been postponed until January following state COVID restrictions. 

For more information, call the museum at 541-389-1813 or email at  •

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