September 15-18 head down to Pendleton Oregon for the 100 year anniversary of the Pendleton Rodeo. This long-time annual event draws huge crowds every year including some of the biggest names in the rodeo circuit and a throng of celebrity rodeo fans. This four-day rodeo is expected to bring in over 70,000 people to Pendleton, a town of about 17,000 residents. One of the biggest reasons for the successfulness of the rodeo is the town’s commitment to staying true to traditions. Some of those traditions started 100 years ago include banning advertising in the arena, keeping the bucking chutes made of wood, maintaining the arena’s center grassy area, and the continual use of volunteers every year. The people of Pendleton have been anticipating this rodeo centennial for several years now, businesses have been vamping up their storefronts, hotels have been sold out for about a year, and renowned saddle maker Randy Severe has been putting the final touches on the trophy saddle for the winning cowboys.
The rodeo will take place at 1:15pm each day tickets cost between $15 and $20 only Wednesday and Thursday tickets are still available; Friday and Saturday Rodeo tickets are SOLD OUT. There is a Happy Canyon Show that takes place each night at 7:30pm with tickets ranging between $10 and $17. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Round-Up office at 1.800.45.RODEO, the office is open 8:30am-5:00pm Monday to Friday.
Back in 1910 the sleepy little town of Pendleton Oregon began a tradition that would become one of the world’s most popular cowboy events. The Pendleton Rodeo was started by Roy Raley who thought the small town should have a rodeo to call its own. Here are some more interesting facts about the rodeo:
- Reba MacEntire’s father Clark, won the top prize in steer roping and all around categories in 1947.
- In 1929 the last female Bronco rider, Bonnie McCarroll, competed at the event. She died and the board decided females were not allowed to compete in Bronco or Bull Riding events again.
- Some of the most famous cowboys rode in the Pendleton Rodeo including Buffalo Bill, Yakima Canutt, Jackson Sundown, George Fletcher, and Leo Caldwell.
- The rodeo has had its good years and bad years, but the only years the rodeo had to be postponed was in 1942 and 1943 because most of the cowboys had gone off to fight in World War II.
If you aren’t interested in the Rodeo but still want to come there will be a carnival, concert, parade, water park, museums, and more! Come check out all the fun going on in Pendleton this weekend! Pendleton is only 60-miles from Tri Cities Washington, make a day of it, take the whole family or some friends and enjoy all the festivities!
Hope to see you there!