If you love rodeos, you may want to head to Pendleton, Oregon this September for the 2016 Round-Up, happening from the 15th to the 17th. If you can’t make the trip, it’s easy to follow on television as well. The Cowboy Lifestyle Network, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Earnhardt Auto Road Team are the premier group following the event, and they will make sure you get to experience all of the action.
Yes, this is the place where the blankets are made. Pendleton is a town in Oregon which has never lost its old west feel. In the shadow of the cascade mountains and against wild, grassy plains, you feel like you are on the set of a television western. A combination of the descendants of original frontiersmen and the local tribes give this an authentic rodeo feel that is completely authentic.
The History of the Round-Up
This iconic event has been making national news since its inception in 1910. With 7,000 people gathered for the inaugural round-up, the town of Pendleton had never seen a crowd so large. By the thirties, they were getting contestants from 36 states and 8 nations. The event has continued uninterrupted, except during war time, for more than a century.
What Not to Miss
The event actually takes place for more than a week, with pre and post events like a welcome parade, concerts and a golf tournament. The real rodeo events, a bull riding classic, children’s rodeo, and the typical series of traditional rodeo events that you have come to expect. There is also a barbecue arena, and Thursday, Sept. 15 is Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day. Each evening concludes with the Happy Canyon Night Show, which is a historical look into the area’s history beginning with the lifestyle of the local Native American tribes, moving to Lewis and Clark, Oregon Trail pioneers and finally the wacky stories and legends that (may) have happened on the streets of this frontier town.
No rodeo is complete without one night with a major country star. This year’s kick-off concert is being played by Lee Brice.
Pendleton is located on highway 84, also known as the Old Oregon Trail Highway. The best place to fly in is Portland, which is about a 3 hour drive to the East. The city is best reached by driving from either I-90 or I-5, depending on which direction you’re coming from.