Central Oregon Activities

Get to the Sisters Folk Festival

Every September since 1995, folk enthusiasts and alike gather in Sisters to enjoy amazing music, dancing and excitement. It’s worth checking out if you’ve never been because there is a little something for everyone.

This year, the festival is on September 6 through the 8th.

“Many greats have shared their talents since the initial Festival in 1995, including but not limited to:
Ian Tyson, Natalie MacMaster, Jesse Winchester, Chris Smither, Dave Carter, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Ruthie Foster, The Subdudes, The Waifs, Tim O’Brien, The Wailin’ Jennys, Jon Cleary, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Lake Street Dive, Anais Mitchell, Shakey Graves, Eric Bibb, Richard Thompson, Shawn Mullins, and many more.

The Festival hosts eleven stages, including an 900-seat venue at the Village Green Park in downtown Sisters, and 1,100 seats at Sisters Art Works.

Sisters is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, the community of Sisters is a wonderful place to live and visit. Outdoor recreational opportunities in and around Sisters are endless, with mountains, rivers, and lakes at your back door. Bike or ride horseback on the many beautiful mountain trails, or golf at any number of first-rate courses. Gift, home & garden, clothing, and antique shops abound for the shopper in your group, or just relax and enjoy the clean air and incredible mountain views. There is truly something for everyone in Sisters.”

This Year’s Lineup

Bruce Cockburn

Peter Rowan’s Free Mexican Airforce

Los Texmaniacs

Ron Artis II and The Truth

Le Vent du Nord

Rising Appalachia

The East Pointers

Della Mae

Flor de Toloache

The Hamiltones

Martyn Joseph

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Carrie Rodriguez

Red Dirt Boys

Phil Madeira

Will Kimbrough

Cedric Burnside

Lindsay Lou

Keith Greeninger

Lula Wiles

Pharis and Jason Romero

Alex Cuba


David Jacobs – Strain and Bob Beach

Kuinka (a personal favorite of the Dempsey family)

The Brother Brothers

The Sweet Remains




Beth Wood

The Suitcase Junket


Susan Gibson

Jeffrey Martin

Anna Tivel

Kacy and Clayton

Dennis McGregor and The Spoilers

Stand and Sway


The Arcadian Wild

Thunderstorm Artis

Stay Wild

Pete Kartsounes

Kristin Andreassen

Arouna Diarra and Biko

Americana Alumni Performers


Central Oregon Activities

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer with Your Dog

Courtesy of Andrea’s vet, Mobile Cat & Dog Vet, we offer some tips for enjoying summer to the fullest with your furry friend (and keeping them safe in the process).

1. Go Hiking

Both you and your pup can enjoy a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise by hiking! Choose safe, dog-friendly trails and on warmer days, go for locations with plenty of shade. Be sure to keep your dog hydrated and up-to-date on tick and heartworm protection.


2. Travel Time

Your next camping trip, beach vacation or road trip could easily include your dog if you plan accordingly! Your dog may benefit from the adventure and change of scenery just as much as you will.

3. Make a Splash

Lakes, rivers, ponds, beaches and pools can be prime spots for you and your dog to relax, go for a swim and have some fun in the sun. Do your research ahead of time to know what the rules and regulations are. Dogs are off-limits at some beaches or only allowed at specific times.


4. Dine Out

Take full advantage of restaurant patio season and bring your dog along for a bite to eat. Remember it is always a good idea to double check that the venue is dog-friendly, and bring your own water bowl.

5. Transform Your Yard

No need to leave home when you can have a doggie wonderland in your very own backyard! Play a few rounds of fetch or frisbee to let your dog burn off some energy, then set up a sprinkler or kiddie pool so they can splash around and cool off. You could also host a playdate with the neighborhood dogs your pup enjoys playing with.


How do you enjoy summer with your four-legged friend?

Central Oregon Activities

T-Shirts for Women’s Mental Health

Patty’s daughter, McKenna, is starting a business focused on empowering women to embrace complexity one step at a time. Her vision is big but her starting point is a mobile app. This app takes women on a journey, from educating themselves about their mental health to learning techniques and tools to form new habits, and creating routines they can integrate into their day-to-day lives.

In an effort to fund this organization and bring it to life, McKenna created The Mandala Project – a creative initiative to raise money and fund Mandala Mission through the end of October.

Her goal is to sell 2,500 shirts by August 15 to raise $30,000 and make this happen. She is looking for support from the community and beyond to spread the word and bring awareness to her vision.

Any help or support you would be willing to give would be greatly appreciated!

You can learn more on her website and buy a shirt, or directly go to her Etsy page.

A Little Background on Mandala Mission

Who Are We?

Mandala is dedicated to empowering women to embrace complexity one step at a time.We are doing this by shifting the mental health stigma and giving women the opportunity to love themselves for who they are. Founded by McKenna Dempsey, an expert in living with anxiety, we are creating a solution that meets women where they are in their journey and provides them resources, techniques and education about their mental health.Founder-Mandala Mission_McKenna Dempsey copy

Why Are We Doing This?

We want to create a world that allows women the space to understand themselves and also be badasses. The two are not mutually exclusive and we want to make that clear.

“I live with anxiety and depressive episodes, and when I was 19, I asked my dad, ‘why am I crazy?’ and he responded with, ‘you’re not


crazy, you’re just complex.’ This completely shifted the way I thought about my brain and how it interacts with the world around me, teaching me that there’s actually nothing wrong with me, I am just unique and have needs that I’m still learning to identify.

I want to share this with women like me. The women whose brains go haywire and spend hours running on the hamster wheel. The women who feel scared that they won’t find their purpose or that their brains are too much to handle. Every day, I battle thoughts that make my mind feel like it’s playing tricks on me, like I’m crazy, and I know that I’m not the only one who needs something that helps them learn that I’m actually not crazy, I’m just complex.”

Digital Press Kit - Stats

We wanted to create a solution that meets these needs.

What Are We Doing?

Mandala Mission changes the way we think about our mental health. Our vision is massive, including events, community groups, after school programs and university awareness, but we’re launching our organization with our mobile app. We are making mental health accessible and affordable, for those who are nervous to seek help, for those who don’t have the means to get it and for those who just need a little extra between therapy sessions.

We’re developing a mental health journey, from education to tactics to routine. We put education front and center because there is such a misconception about how our brains are wired. We are creating an experience that allows women to not only receive step by step tools to get them through each day, but to also understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Our app features three main elements: intention setting, programs and routines.

Digital Press Kit - Features

You can get an in-depth overview below.

Where Are We? What’s Next?

We are about to release the first version of our beta app. Once we do this, we will be seeking testers to deep dive into this experience and give us their thoughts and feedback. With these thoughts and feedback, we will then alter our feature sets as needed, bring in a few team members and build our full app to launch later this year.

It is difficult to find the resources needed to battle in the war that can take place in your brain. We’re creating a solution that offers a different method and meets women where they are in their journey.

In order to create this experience, we need funding, so we came up with a way to spread our message and fund our dream. The Mandala Project is our step to get there.

What is The Mandala Project?

The Mandala Project is our creative way of funding Mandala Mission. Up to this point, we have received funding through a pitch competition we won last fall and a group of close investors. We’re ready to take this to the next level and go all in, and we wanted to do it The Mandala Way, by spreading our message and letting the women who need us support us.Square-be complex

So, we created a bunch of t-shirts, put them on Etsy and launched our project. Our goal is to sell 2,500 t-shirts by August 15. We know this sounds a little bit crazy, but we believe that with the passion behind this company, the help of our supporters and spreading our message, that we can not only achieve it but possibly exceed it. Our shirts feature designs that capture what it feels like to live in an anxious mind, like “I overshare,” “emPOWERed” and “Be Complex.”

Selling 2,500 shirts will raise us $30,000 and that money will go toward a product designer, product manager, marketing outreach, project management and the development team that is bringing this to life. This money will go toward funding us through the end of October and get us one step closer to creating an experience women can feel good about. It will keep us moving, keep us talking and keep us challenging the mental health stigma.

What Are We Looking For?

We are seeking help spreading this message. To share with everyone what our goal is at Mandala Mission and what we are doing with The Mandala Project. If you would be willing to share our vision, we would be incredibly grateful.

You can find more information about The Mandala Project here and by viewing the video below.

Central Oregon Activities, Entertainment

7 Vegan Recipes for Grilling Season

Barbecue season is upon us and it’s all fun and games until you’re vegan at your friend’s house and all they’re serving is meat.

Lucky for you, we’ve curated some amazing recipes to give you your grilling vibes without compromising your morals.

1. Balsamic Garlic Grilled Mushrooms

DP-Balsamic Mushrooms

Um, hello? Balsamic and garlic? Who needs anything else.

2. Memphis Style Dry Rub BBQ Tofu

DP-Dry Rub Tofu

Getting creative with tofu can give you even more of a BBQ feel than veggies. And here is a recipe that even your carnivore friends will love.

3. Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant

DP-Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant is an all time favorite of ours, and it can be done in so many different ways. Try this one this summer to wow yourself and your friends.

4. BBQ Cauliflower Wings

DP-Cauliflower Wings

You don’t have to eat meat to enjoy the beauty of wings. This cauliflower option will give you all the flavor you’re looking for.

5. Pulled Shitake Mushroom BBQ Sandwich

DP-Pulled Shitake Mushroom

Our mouths are watering just looking at this.

6. Veggie Burgers

DP-Veggie Burgers

Of course, we have to throw in some veggie burgers (because they’re just classics). And these ones have us wishing for a BBQ right now.

7. Vegan BBQ Brisket

DP-Vegan Brisket

To top things off, we’ll just leave this right here. Because what?? This looks amazing. Don’t let the picture fool you, these are totally vegan.

What are your favorite barbecue recipes?

Central Oregon Activities

4th of July Safety in Central Oregon

The big holiday is right around the corner, and we know how exciting and fun things can get…especially in Central Oregon. According to Travel and Leisure, we are in the Top 10 Best Places for Celebrating the Fourth of July, According to Yelp. “This is the Fourth of July destination for Americans who love hiking and beer.”

And even outside of hiking a beer, we have several activities, parties, events and bike rides that get the city going on this day of red, white and blue. But with all these shenanigans comes the need for safety – let’s keep ourselves, our kids and our dogs out of harm’s way this Thursday.

Fireworks Safety

According to the Red Cross, “the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.  Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:

1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.

2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.

4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”

5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Heat Safety

The weather isn’t looking particularly hot this coming holiday, but it’s important to remember that we live in a desert and things can get extra heated when you’re drinking and running in the sun with your friends.

Signs for heat stroke can “include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.”

Some Tips

1. Hot cars can be deadly. Do not leave your children or pets in your vehicle while you enjoy the 4th of July activities. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fluids. We like to follow the “one glass of water, one glass of beer” rule.

3. Keep and eye on friends and family. If someone looks overheated, bring them a glass of water. Or even better, coconut water.

4. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays, which should be easy on a day ruled by red, white and blue.

5. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water. Which brings us to…

Animal Safety

Your dog might not like fireworks, loud noises and Freedom Rides as much as you do. This might be the kind of day you decide to leave your furry friends at home. You may feel guilty for not bringing them to the BBQ or watching the firework show with them, but we can bet that they’ll be thankful to have a nice bed at home and some water to make them feel cozy.


1. Watch out for signs. It won’t be too difficult to identify if your dog is scared. “Shivering, shaking, panting, salivating, yawning and trying to hide are some of those indications. Frightened dogs may also lick their lips repeatedly or get stiff.

2. Don’t try to desensitize. The idea that you can get your dog used to bright flashes and loud pops of fireworks sounds good, but takes a lot of time (and can traumatize in the process). This takes weeks or months, not one day, according to USA Today.

3. Music can help calm your little companion. Canines’ sense of hearing can be multiple times sharper than humans. Fireworks that are far away may seem like they won’t cause stress, but they still can. Throwing on some music – recommendations include classical or reggae – can block out some of the intrusive sounds.

4. Thundershirts can help your pup feel safe. These are compression wraps that soothe by applying a gentle pressure.

*Our recommendation…leave your dog at home with some classical music, their favorite toy and a comfy, cozy blanket while you enjoy all Central Oregon’s festivities.

The Fourth of July is a wild a good time. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself and others while you celebrate independence.