About Ignite

If you had 5 minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds?

Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to enlighten us – quickly.

The Beginner's Guide To Bend

Catrina Gregory



Catrina Gregory is a writer and editor specializing in web content. She was born and raised in Junction City, Oregon. She spent her tender youth picking blueberries, hanging out at the Dairy Mart on Highway 99, and dreaming of big-city life. Approximately 19 hours after graduating from high school, Catrina packed up her Ford Pinto station wagon, fled her small town and never looked back. Over the next two decades, she lived in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles and used her passport religiously. She was the embodiment of a "city girl." Then it all changed when she had a fling with Bend, Oregon. Could a former country-girl turned urbanite fall in love with a small mountain town in her home state? Oh yes, yes she could.

I'd like to share how I turned a crazy little crush into a meaningful life-long relationship in eight short months. The object of my affection? Bend, Oregon. Back in August of 2012, I had a 12-hour date with Bend. I was immediately smitten and a little shy. Bend seemed so confident and perfect. I left in awe, wondering, "Was that real? We had an amazing electric connection…didn't we? Could a town as awesome as Bend really like ME?" I couldn't stop thinking about Bend, so I went back to my Ex (Los Angeles), and broke off our 10-year relationship. Four weeks later, I arrived in town, feeling a little stalker-y, all starry eyed, with my earthly possessions in a 22-foot Penske truck. But as the glow wore off, I worried that Bend just wasn't that into me. All my junior-high insecurities surfaced. What if I'm not outdoorsy enough? Can I live without heels? I thought puffy jackets were just for camping. Wait, I don't camp. Is that a deal-breaker? What if no one likes me? Will I fit in? Is it weird that I'm single, sans kids at my age? Do I look fat in these stretch pants? Am I required to wear one item made of fleece at all times? Will I be exiled when people find out that my only gear is a rickety beach cruiser, a surf board and a wetsuit? Worse yet, I'm not a beer drinker -- will I be ticketed for un-Bend-like behavior? and finally: What have I done?? But I stuck it out and fell in deep, passionate, mutual love. This is a feel-good happy-ending tale about how I overcame my fears -- in the form of ten essential tips for beginners, or anyone who just wants to snuggle up with Bend a little closer (it's an open relationship…I think everyone should love Bend, I'm not the jealous type). I'll also share the 5 things I tried that didn't work out so well. All in painstaking, sometimes hilarious, often humiliating detail… and with visual aids! Woohoo!



Next Event

Ignite Bend ​15
​2018 TBA
Doors open at 6:00pm
Tower Theater - Bend, OR
Admission is always FREE

Tickets will be available two weeks prior to the event.


We're looking for sponsors for Ignite Bend! Please download a Sponsor Packet or check out the Sponsorships page for details.

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Ember Sponsors

Berg Real Estate Brokers


Home System Solutions

Wanderlust Tours

Alpenglow Vacation Rentals

The Village Baker

Anjou Spa

Spark Sponsors



Multimedia Partner

Hand In Hand Productions

Media Partner

The Source Weekly

Other Partners


Mug Revolution


Mt. Bachelor

Connexion Printing

Jill Rosell Photography


Thanks to these businesses for supporting Ignite Bend!

Ideasmith • Silver Moon Brewing • Hot Box Betty • Where To Eat Guide • Dahlia's Consigment • Sara Bella Upcycled • Hypnotherapy Healing • Humm Kombucha • Robbie Bianchi • Café Sintra • Bellatazza • Spa W