Where: Pendleton, Oregon Trail, Oregon, USA
When: Four days in the second full week of September
What happens: historical celebration of the town’s wild west roots, from the point of view of both the Native Americans and settlers
Remember to bring: bandages, for the bumps you’ll get getting bucked off a Brahman bull
Motto: ‘Let her buck!’
Where It’s At
Pendleton is situated on the Oregon Trail in Oregon State. The best time of the year to head here is September for the Pendleton Round-Up. Remember to book accommodation early as 49,999 others will all be heading to the city.
History of the Festivals
Each year since 1909, Pendleton celebrates Oregon’s historical roots in the Westward Ho!parade of restored horse buggies, wagons, and carriages. Following the footsteps of Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery, the settlers passed through the town along the Oregon Trail and the festival attempts to address the settlement of the west in the 1850s historically from both the viewpoint of the settlers and Native Americans.
What Happens at the Round Up?
One of the biggest rodeos and Wild West events in the country, the Pendleton Round-up attracts tens of thousand of visitors each year to cheer on the cowboys as they compete to become Pendleton Round-Up champions. The four day festival takes place in the second full week in September. Bull riding, bareback riding, wild cow milking, and steer wresting are just some of the competitive activities that cowboys attempt to become a champion. You’ll definitely gain respect for these guys as you watch them being bucked off the back of a Brahman bull. In fact, ‘let her buck’ is the slogan of the festival!
Its not just ranch-types who frequent the event, this is the ultimate cowboys and Indians festival. Representatives of the local plain Native American Indian tribes have been coming for years and many tee pees are erected for the four days.
The Happy Canyon Pageant, a play that tells the story of the settlement of the west from the point of view of the cowboys and also the Indians, has been performed here since 1916. The content of the play is at times controversial due to whose viewpoint is considered to be historically accurate. When any one of the actors is too old to play their part, they step aside and the part is handed down to the next generation of the family.
Pendleton Round Up
For all information on the Pendleton Round Up visit the official web site.
Pendleton: Where the Real West Lives
Official website for the city
By Faye Welborn