Pendleton, Oregon is well known for its Wild West culture. Pendleton is home to the famous Pendleton Round-Up which started in 1910. The rodeo is considered by many as the most exciting rodeo in the world. It is held each year on the second week in September. The population of Pendleton is normally 17,000, but during roundup it brings in roughly 50,000 people every year to the city. The roundup stadium, which seats 16,133, is looking spectacular. It has won the prestigious PRCA large outdoor rodeo of the year award 4 years in a row, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and is shooting for 2019. (it also won in 2003 and 2010)
“LET’ ER BUCK”
1. 2019 Kick-Off Concert (feat. Trace Adkins)
September 7th, 2019 at the Happy Canyon Arena. Concert starts at 7 p.m.
Adkins’ first platinum single, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”, is the one fans most look forward to hearing at his concerts.
Honky Tonk Badonkadonk
2. VFW Outdoor Cowboy Breakfast
Wednesday thru Saturday September 11th – September 14th, 2019. Address is 413 S.E. Byers, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
One of the great traditions of the Pendleton Roundup week is the VFW Cowboy Breakfast at Stillman Park. You can enjoy some live country music while you enjoy generous servings of pancakes, eggs, ham, coffee, milk, and juice. 6 AM to 10 AM
Pendleton Round-Up week begins with the Dress-Up parade
It is the Saturday before the roundup, which this year (2019) is Sept. 7th, and starts at 10 am. Join in the fun with a float or just sit back and enjoy the show! Pretty much anything goes but you will for sure see some horses, Native Indians, Cowboys, Marching Bands, motorized floats, etc.
Westward Ho Parade.
During the roundup on Friday, September 13th at 10 A.M. there is the Westward Ho Parade. This is a traditional parade where no motorized vehicles are allowed. You will see early transportation such as mules, oxen-drawn covered wagons, Mormon carts, buggies, surreys, and much more. Also, featured will be most of the Indians who are camped at the Round-Up grounds, all dressed up in their tribal attire. You will see a lot horses, Cowboys, rodeo queen and princesses, and much more.
Photo Source: TipTopTens.com
4. Native Americans
Without the traditions of the Native Indians the Round Up would be just another rodeo.
Junior American Indian Beauty Pageant, Roy Raley Park – FREE
9:00 AM Thursday September 12th.
American Indian Beauty Contest, Main Street — FREE
9:00 AM Friday September 13th
Tribal Ceremonial Dancing Contest (Pow Wow), Round-Up Arena — FREE
9:00 A.M. Saturday September 14th
The tribal village includes more than 300 Tepees and is located next to the Round – Up. It is free for the public to go view the village. Indians from the surrounding area gather to visit with friends and family. They take part take part in the Happy Canyon Pageant and dance in the arena during rodeo matinees.
You might also want to visit the Wildhorse Resort & Casino located 8 miles East of Pendleton.
5. Professional Bull Riding (PBR) at the Happy Canyon Arena
Monday, September 9th and Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 you can watch talented cowboys try to ride world class 2,000 pound bulls for eight seconds. If you like bull riding then don’t miss this event that kicks off the two days prior to the Pendleton Roundup.
Photo Source: EastOregonian.com
6. Parties Everywhere
It is not only the rodeo that people flock to Pendleton for as there are many other events going on. Many people come for the drinking, dancing, yelling, and partying all week long.
Party here, party there, party everywhere. Your problem won’t be finding a party with good music and dancing but which party to attend. There are just too many to mention. Virtually every bar will have its own group booked and there will be many others outside the bars including under a motel in their party lot.
Please drink responsibly and have a designated driver. Remember this is the Wild West with real cowboys and Indians so treat them with respect and that is how they will treat you. Drive under the influence of alcohol and the Pendleton Police force will throw you in the crowded Umatilla County Jail and give you one gigantic fine.
Photo Source: 1859oregonmagazine.com
7. Main Street Cowboys presents “The Greatest Free Show in the West”.
September 10-14th, 2019
Do you ever say “If it’s free, it’s for me”. Well, cowboys, come on down to main street and enjoy the entertainment spread out on 5 stages. It won’t cost you any money, unless of course you checkout the many vendors selling delicious food and merchandise.
Click here to download the Main Street Show Calendar provided by Main Street Cowboys.org
Davis Shows Northwest at the South end of Main Street
Photo Source: MainStreetCowboys.org
8. HAPPY CANYON DANCE / Goldies Saloon at the Canyon
After the pageant, don’t bother going to your car as you can use your ticket and walk into the nearby happy Canyon and enjoy dancing and social gaming. Enjoy a DJ mixing your favorite dance music, or for those over 21 there is the Goldies Saloon at the Canyon. Dance outside under the stars with a live band pumping out the songs. Watch the Rockin Divas dancing on the bar. Goldie’s Saloon at the Canyon operates on September 11th-14th, 2019 from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM.
9. Happy Canyon Night Show September 11-14th
4,230 seat arena
This is a show that everyone should attend at least once or twice.
Show begins promptly at 7:45 p.m.
Price: $15.00-$24.00 http://happycanyon.com/
The Happy Canyon Night Show is a show depicting the settling of the American West, beginning with a portrayal of the Native American way of life prior to the arrival of the white man, continuing with the arrival of Lewis and Clark, followed by the prairie schooners of the pioneers of the Oregon Trail and concluding with a reenactment of a frontier town’s rollicking main street mishaps.
The actors are members of the community, mostly volunteers, and include Native Indians from many different tribes.
It takes about 500 people to make the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West show happen every year. The Happy canyon Show is a live performance with animals. Volunteers act out an entertaining version of how the West was settled. Hundreds of years are compressed in about a 2 hour performance including some comedy sketches, shoot-outs, and can-can dancers.
Photo Source: HappyCanyon.com
10. The Pendleton Roundup September 11th – September 14th
Well, of course, the top fun thing to do during roundup week is to attend the World Famous Roundup itself.
Starting with the first go round on Monday, September 9th, at 8 p.m.
Wednesday September 11th is the official start of the rodeo and runs until Saturday September 14th. The rodeo starts at 1:15 P.M each day.
For ticket and general information visit pendletonroundup.com. The Pendleton Round-Up is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
Photo Source: TipTopTens.com
There is so much going on, we could not mention all of them in the top ten. You may want to also check out the Pendleton Hall of Fame across from the Round Up, Pendleton Underground tours, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Pendleton River walk, and much more.
Video about history of Pendleton Round-Up
Produced by the Oregon Public Broadcasting (2010)