The big daddy of them all — the Pendleton Roundup — takes place in September in the state’s largest rodeo arena in Pendleton.
The population of Joseph swells from 1,000 to nearly 10,000 during Chief Joseph Days, when spectators come to celebrate cowboys and Nez Perce Indians.
The St. Paul Rodeo is held every 4th of July weekend and is one of the largest rodeos in the U.S. (Photo by Bob Pool)

You don’t have to rope, ride or wrangle to appreciate Oregon’s rodeos. Bucking broncos, wild bulls, barrel racing and calf roping: Think of it as the West’s first extreme sports venue.

The big daddy of them all — the Pendleton Round-Up — takes place Sept. 14-17, 2016, in the state’s largest rodeo arena in Pendleton. One of the 10 largest rodeos in the world, the Pendleton Round-Up has been a celebrated annual event since 1910. The small eastern town of Pendleton swells to the gills with professional cowboys and cowgirls, hopeful amateurs and enthusiastic spectators who come to enjoy a full roster of steer roping, barrel racing, bull riding, parades and kids’ events.

An important part of the annual roundup festivities, the Happy Canyon Night Show takes place each evening and illuminates the history of the American West from Native American culture and the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery to the Oregon Trail pioneers and settlement of frontier towns. In 2010, the roundup was named an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Heritage Commission — only the second event ever given this honor.

Here are a few other rodeos taking place around Oregon this summer:

The 75th annual Sisters Rodeo takes place June 10-12, 2016, in the little Central Oregon town of the same name. Sisters draws world-class competitors for bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling and Xtreme Bulls — the only officially sanctioned bull riding tour of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). In nearby Prineville, the Crooked River Roundup rolls out in June.

Head to the Willamette Valley for the annual Molalla Buckeroo PRCA Rodeo, July 1-4, 2016, for bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and more, plus nightly fireworks and music. Now in its 81st year, the St. Paul Rodeo takes place on July 1-4, 2016, nearby with a host of exciting activities.

The Coos County Fair and Rodeo celebrates 104 years in July in Myrtle Point with bulls, barrels, team roping and lots of fun kids events. Canceled this year with plans to return in 2017, the Fort Dalles Days Pro Rodeo usually gets hopping in July in The Dalles with a full roster of rodeo events, a parade and nightly entertainment.

Head east for Chief Joseph Days, always the last week of July, which starts with the Bucking Horse Stampede through downtown Joseph and includes a traditional Indian dance competition among other exciting events.

It’s time to stirrup some Western fun!

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Mary Stevenson says…

    La Pine has a great rodeo July 4-6 2013.

    Written on May 14th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  2. Darrell Hinchberger says…

    The Philomath Frolic and Rodeo was voted “Best NPRA rodeo in the Northwest” eight times by NPRA. We have a good time, here in Philomath. Come see us July 11-14 -2013

    Written on June 26th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
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