Rodeo Fun at the Pendleton Round-Up

Have you ever wanted to see a true-blue American rodeo? If so, one of the events that will most certainly fulfill your desire is the 104-year-old Pendleton Round-Up! Tagged as one of the largest rodeos in the world, it draws in a crowd of approximately 50,000 people. This superstar rodeo first took place in September 1910; and now, it is held every year in Pendleton, Oregon. By hosting this massive event, Pendleton, time and time again has proven to the world the veracity of its town motto: “The Real West.”

Pendleton, Oregon Round-Up

These days, you have plenty of time to experience the resilient spirit of Pendleton Round-Up as this rodeo is not just a daylong event – it spans four days! For 2015, the Pendleton Round-Up will be held from September 16 to 19. During this period, you will be able to enjoy parades, concerts and pageants in addition to the rodeo itself.

The cowboys of Pendleton are the only ones taking the center stage for this event. In fact, the reason why Pendleton Round-Up has be me largely successful, is because of the strong support and participation of different munities such as the Native American population. And since the early 1900s, women have been welcomed to show off their talent and strength; and compete with the best!

Pendleton, Oregon Round-Up down roping
Photo by: Pendleton Round-Up – Bob Click

The rodeo show starts at 1:15 pm every day. But, if for some reason, you cannot make it – there is also a free cowboy show that warms up the crowd, held on the Main Street at noon every day. During the entire week-long celebration, most stores are open for visitors who want to do some shopping and gather up rodeo garb and souvenirs. And if you like browsing around, take the time to drop by the Artisan Village in Roy Raley Park. The village is conveniently located right next to the Round-Up Grounds. Here, you will see the various art work and crafts made by the best Native American artists in the region. Roy Raley Park also hosts some dancing and drumming contests worth checking out.

One of the highlight events at the Pendleton Round-Up celebration is the Happy Canyon Pageant. This glorious and colorful event retells the story of the Old West. It showcases the early American Indian culture and the humble beginnings of their forefathers. It also features the initial clashes between the two different cultures and the emergence of peace, which forever changed the course of this once wild frontier town. After the show, you can party the night away at Goldie’s Saloon, which offers live band entertainment and casino games like blackjack and roulette. The saloon is also equipped with a main dance hall complete with deejays playing all night long.

Pendleton, Oregon Round-Up bull riding
Photo by: Pendleton Round-Up – Bob Click

For the key events like evening concerts, afternoon Round-Up shows, The Happy Canyon Night pageant and barbecue dinners, you will need purchase a corresponding ticket to gain access. These tickets are sold by the Round Up office. Remember some events sell out fast, so grab your tickets ahead of time.

As for accommodation, it is plentiful in and around town, but you also need to be very proactive about securing a room. The fact is a number of lodgings are already full as many tourists book a year in advance for this event. To facilitate the big visiting crowd, some home owners are willing to hosts guests who could not find regular accommodation. You can contact the Pendleton Chamber for the list of hosts and get to know the locals as well.