The first Pendleton Round-Up, held September 29, 1910 was to be “a frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest.” It lived up to expectations, and more. Throughout its 100-year history, the Native American participation, strong volunteer corps, and community support have made this one of the largest and most beloved rodeos on the continent. It has grown into a week-long celebration of western heritage that includes parades, concerts, a night pageant, and more, thrilling tens of thousands of cowboys and cowgirls (and those who want to be!) every year. Everyone is welcome in Pendleton!
Now in its 104th year, the tradition and pageantry of this legendary event has garnered awards and accolades even as the volunteer Board of Directors makes plans for more growth and improvements.
The Pendleton Round-Up was named…
- 2010 Business of the Year ~ Chamber of Commerce
- Large Outdoor Committee of Year ~ Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
- Best Professional Rodeo ~ True West Magazine
- #1 Top Cowboy Vacation Destination ~ Western Horseman Magazine
- Let ‘er Buck Room – One of the Top Western Bars ~ American Cowboy Magazine
- One of the Rodeos Worth Driving To ~ Cowboys and Indians Magazine
- Oregon Heritage Tradition Site ~ State of Oregon
- Heritage Tourism Award Recipient ~ Oregon Tourism Commission
In addition to all these, the Round-Up played an instrumental role in Pendleton being named the #1 on the list of the Top Ten Western Towns in America by True West Magazine!
The all volunteer Round-Up Association Board of Directors worked for the past 6 years on planning the Centennial Celebration in 2010. Part of the planning included covering the west grandstands, a new entrance now dubbed “Centennial Plaza” that includes a magnificent bronze, and multi-millions of dollars of other improvements to the grounds.
The Round-Up is Pendleton’s signature event and draws people from around the world each year to watch and participate in the fun. Many have questions about the event and the town, so here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What do I need tickets for and how do I get them?
Tickets are sold for the concert Saturday evening, the afternoon Round-Up shows Wednesday through Saturday, the Happy Canyon Night Pageant also Wednesday through Saturday, PBR on Mnday and Tuesday, and some of the bbq dinners. Tickets for all these events are available through the Round-Up office (800) 457-6336 or visit pendletonroundup.com. Some events do sell out, so order as soon as you can.
The Pendleton Chamber provides a ticket resale service. If you have purchased tickets that you aren’t going to use, send them to the Chamber at 501 S Main St, Pendleton, OR 97801. The staff will do their best to sell them for you and will send the proceeds minus a 25% commission fee. Tickets must be in the Chamber office before we can re-sell them for you. Please be sure to include a mailing address and phone number with your tickets. If you’re looking for tickets for the Rodeo performances, Happy Canyon, PBR, or the Concert, the Chamber staff will be happy to sell you the tickets of your choice from those that have been sent to us for face value plus a $2 fee per ticket.
Where can I stay?
Click on the “Stay” page on this website for listings of all local accommodations. Most lodging properties are booked one year in advance, but they do experience cancellations so persistence pays off when calling the local number and asking for vacancies! Other options are Private Housing, RV camping, and lodging in surrounding communities… unless you can take advantage of having family or friends in town! Private Housing: the Chamber compiles a list of hosts in Pendleton who are willing to rent rooms or the entire home. The Private Housing list will be published on our website beginning June 1st. Prices range from $50/night for a room to $500/night for an entire house that can house 8. RV Camping: the Chamber works with the Altrusa Club, the City, the School District, and Blue Mountain Community College to provide approximately 500 dry camping sites for the week. Sites are $20/night per RV (+$5 if over 35′ + $5 for slideouts) and $17/night per tent. Sites have, porta-potties (some with sinks), and shuttle bus service or are within walking distance of the Round-Up arena. Call the Chamber at (541) 276-7411 to register before September 1st!
How do I get around town? Where can I park?
Shuttle buses run circuits around town from 7am to 10pm Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of Round-Up week. Shuttle services begin after the Westward Ho! Parade on Friday and run until 10pm. Suggested donations of $1 per ride per person are welcomed. Route maps are available through the Chamber. Parking: there are several ‘Park & Ride’ locations on the outskirts of town that the shuttle buses service, and Wildhorse Resort and Casino at I84 & Exit 216 has also provided a park & ride service. Several lots close to the Round-Up grounds offer pay-to-park at various rates. Day parking on city streets is allowed at no charge unless marked otherwise.
What kind of weather should I pack for?
Daytime temperatures can soar into the 90s with cool evenings in the low 50s. Rare rainy days have occurred during Round-Up, as have cooler temperatures of highs in the 50s, so it is best to check the forecast before heading out!
What happens during the week? What else is there to do?
In addition to the rodeo that begins at 1:15pm SHARP every day, the Main Street Cowboys sponsor the ‘Greatest Free Show in the West’ on Main Street every day starting at 12noon, with vendors and entertainment in each block. Most stores are open for your shopping and browsing convenience. Many of Pendleton’s attractions are open year ’round… even during Round-Up… so don’t miss the great museums, tours, the casino and more. Click on ‘Events’ for a complete list, and stop by the Chamber office for an Attractions Brochure when you’re in town. Don’t miss the Artisan Village in Roy Raley Park next to the Round-Up Grounds where Native American artists display and sell their beautiful work. And in the same park drumming and dancing competitions are held as well.