The big daddy of them all — the Pendleton Roundup — takes place Sept. 14-19, 2015, 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 Roundup — takes place Sept. 14-19, 2015, in the state’s largest rodeo arena in Pendleton. One of the 10 largest rodeos in the world, the Pendleton Roundup 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 from Sept. 16-19, 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. For tickets and information, visit the Pendleton Roundup website.

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

The 75th annual Sisters Rodeo takes place June 12-14, 2015, 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 June 26-28, 2015.

Head to the Willamette Valley for the annual Molalla Buckeroo PRCA Rodeo, July 1-4, 2015, for bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and more, plus nightly fireworks and music. Now in its 80th year, the St. Paul Rodeo takes place on July 1-4, 2015, nearby with a host of exciting activities.

Fort Dalles Days Pro Rodeo gets hopping July 16-18, 2015, in The Dalles with a full roster of rodeo events, a parade and nightly entertainment. The Coos County Fair and Rodeo celebrates 103 years in July in Myrtle Point with bulls, barrels, team roping and lots of fun kids events.

Head east for Chief Joseph Days, July 21-26, 2015, 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 is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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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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