Let ’er Buck This Summer

June 1, 2015 (Updated June 1, 2018)
The granddaddy of them all — the Pendleton Round-Up — takes place in the state's largest rodeo arena.

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 granddaddy of them all — the Pendleton Round-Up — takes place Sept. 7-14, 2019, 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.

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

The Sisters Rodeo (June 5-7, 2019) takes place 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 (June 27-29, 2019) rolls out the welcome mat.

Head to the Willamette Valley for the annual Molalla Buckeroo PRCA Rodeo (July 1-4, 2019), for bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and more, plus nightly fireworks and music. Now in its 82nd year, the St. Paul Rodeo (June 2-6, 2019) boasts a host of exciting activities.

In Eastern Oregon, the Haines Stampede (July 3-4, 2019) includes kids games, a concert and fireworks. Then four days of rodeo action happen at The Elgin Stampede (July 10-13, 2019).

The Coos County Fair and Rodeo (July 23-27, 2019) in Myrtle Point features bulls, barrels, team roping and lots of fun kids events.

Head east for the 74th annual Chief Joseph Days (July 23-28, 2019), which starts with the Bucking Horse Stampede through downtown Joseph and includes a traditional Indian dance competition among other exciting events.

The Lake County Roundup (Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2019), marks its centennial in 2019, and organizers expect the biggest celebration yet as locals return and rodeo fans come from far and wide.

It’s time to stirrup some Western fun!

About The
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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