The Molalla Buckeroo is a rodeo that’s held every year in Molalla, Oregon. It typically takes place on Independence Day and the days prior. The event aims to showcase the rodeo, a quintessential aspect of American heritage and also promote the development of the county. The Giant Street parade that takes place on the Fourth of July is an added attraction that draws crowds to the area.
The event was first started in September 1913 when a railroad was laid to connect the town with the surrounding areas. It has been held every year since then. The rodeo was initially organized as a way to raise money for fire fighting equipment and was sponsored by the local firemen.
Due to its continued growth and success, the Molalla Buckeroo Association was formed in 1923 to take over the operations of the event. This is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. Thanks to the tireless work and commitment of these volunteers, Molalla Buckeroo has become one of the premier rodeo events in the country.
The Molalla Buckeroo was originally held in the large field on the outskirts of town. After the formation of the association, an arena was constructed for the event which became its permanent venue.
There is a performance on each day of the rodeo with the main performance being on the final day. You can choose between General Admission and General Reserved Tickets. Prices range from $10 (July 4th Matinee) to $20 (General Reserved July 4th Evening with Fireworks Event).
Passes for the kickoff party are also available on the website. General admission is free for children under the age of 6. For the reserved seats, children above the age of 3 need tickets. For more information on ticket prices and schedules, take a look at the rodeo's website.
Molalla is about 50 minutes away from the City of Portland, Oregon. You might take Interstate 5 to the east of the venue or you may come through Mt. Hood National Forest to get to the area. Check if Clackamas County authorities have issued any road alerts in Molalla or the surrounding areas before starting on your trip. The event’s social media accounts are the best source for regularly updated information.
Paid parking is available on Bohlander field, which is walking distance from the venue. Spots are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you can’t find parking there, head to the lot at Molalla High School, close to Frances Street. Once you park your vehicle, you will not be able to exit and re-enter at will. Accessible parking spots are also available at these locations.
The City of Molalla and Clackamas County are pretty well connected by bus. Buses are operated by the South Clackamas Transportation District (SCTD), and you can find scheduling information on their website. The city no longer has a rail link within its limits. Another way to get to the venue is by using a local taxi service.
In the past, basic camping as been permitted in the form of overnight parking through some of the lot options associated with the Molalla Buckaroo. It’s a good idea to check on this before you arrive or book a spot at an RV park nearby in advance.
While overnight parking options are available close to the venue, you’ll need to head out of the city to get a camp-like experience. The nearest RV park is about 10 miles away from the city center, and you’ll find a number of great options within a 15-mile radius. These often come with facilities like WiFi, waterfront access, and full hookups.
Skateboards, roller skates, golf carts, ATVs, bicycles, and other personal vehicles will not be permitted within the premises. Most parts of the venue are accessible by wheelchair. Viewing areas that accommodate wheelchairs will be allotted to guests with mobility disabilities. Special requests can be made by contacting the organizers in advance.
Many attendees choose to get into the spirit of the rodeo by donning western attire and cowboy hats. You’ll fit right in if you wear smart casuals, so bring out those long-sleeved shirts and straight jeans. Attendees also enjoy celebrating Independence Day with plenty of red, white, and blue.
You’re likely to be exposed to the elements for several hours; make sure you carry sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the UV rays. Anything you take in must be in a non-glass container and backpacks are not allowed. While strollers are permitted, it may be challenging to carry them into the seating areas.
Water will be available for purchase within the venue, so make sure you stay hydrated. It can get quite noisy, so earplugs can come in handy, especially if you're with young children who have sensitive ears. Bringing in alcohol, fireworks, or illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. Guests will need to be over the age of 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Coolers or outside food and beverages will not be allowed into the rodeo arena. You can cook at your campsite using a portable grill or the stove in your RV. From time to time, fire warnings are issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) which restrict campfires. Make sure a ban is not in effect before lighting a flame by your campsite.
Molalla has some great family-owned restaurants and grills that serve up delicious comfort food. Be sure to try the award-winning burgers at some of the locally favored restaurants. While you’re in the area, you can enjoy some excellent local craft beers and wines. You’ll also find some authentic Mexican food in the city.
There’s something for everyone at Molalla Buckeroo. There will be several food stalls, trucks, and vendors at the Carnival in Clark Park, which is right by the venue. Although the region is known for its meat-heavy cuisine, there will also be plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer.
Security personnel will be making sure order is maintained and conducting bag checks at the entrances. Certain parts of the venue are restricted to guests at least 21 with a valid ID. Officials ask that guests seek to obey the event's rules and respect participants and other attendees.
Oregon weather is typically warm and sunny in the summer. Since Molalla Buckeroo is held in an outdoor arena, unexpected showers may interrupt the proceedings at any time. Go prepared with a rain poncho so you can sit through any light showers. In the rare event of extreme weather, evacuation measures are in place to get people out safely.
There will be a first aid station centrally located on the grounds. You can head there if you or someone you know requires medical assistance, or flag down one of the volunteers. Accessible portable toilets will be available, and certified service animals will be allowed in to assist patrons with disabilities.