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Last week, The Oregonian ran a great blog post entitled “5 Reasons the Oregon Winterfest will be Better than the Sochi Olympics” and now that we’re past the festivities, we will have to agree – this year’s Winterfest WAS better! (At least from our perspective.)

Here are the reasons The Oregonian listed, and our post-festival take:

1. Bigger money for winning the Rail Jam than for Winning the gold medal
The $3,000 purse is some cash in pocket that the Olympics just can’t promise. While a gold medal may still be more prestigious, we’re pretty sure the rail jam winner was pretty darn happy with the cash haul.

2. Beer vs Vodka
We’re Bendites, so we agree – a good craft beer beats out the hard stuff any day. Thanks to Deschutes Brewery for bringing it to this year’s fest with some of our favorites like Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter and Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale.

3. Snow Warriors Ruled
Approximately 220 costumed race participants came out yesterday for the Snow Warriors run. Waist deep water crossings, hurdles of all kinds, snow running, fire pits and a obstacle-course-type barrier route meant competitors were kept on their toes while making their way twice around the 2.5K loop course. Nolan King, 20, was the race’s overall winner. 

4. Bend’s Infrastructure is Solid
Old Mill District is a favorite venue for events like the Winterfest and, unlike Sochi, classy accommodations, potable drinking water, and toilet paper were abundant. An old hat at throwing this particular festival, local event company Lay It Out Events is well-skilled in ironing out any possible kinks. Last weekend’s fest was no exception.

5. Bend has real winter weather
Well, we all thought winter had finally made its debut the second weekend in February, but our massive amounts of snow quickly melted. However, the Winterfest went on as planned through wind, rain, snow and blue skies – sounds just about right for winter in Bend!