The Pendleton Round-Up is a multi-day affair that includes concerts, parades, and midway rides, and rodeo activities. This event had its genesis in 1910 when the runaway success was almost immediate. Since then, the rodeo has expanded to include the entire City of Pendleton and more, bringing in patrons from multiple states and foreign countries.
The greater area of Pendleton has a myriad of camping spots making this round-up a great stop for any RV driver. You can celebrate the spirit of what it means to be a cowboy while also learning much about the Native American culture. Located just north of the grounds is the Tipi Village which hosts many events including Native American dancing and pageants. Get a taste of what it was like during that first rodeo in the 1910 room or grab a drink at Goldie's Bar.
Pendleton Round-Up is a nonprofit organization that seeks to build educational opportunities and help the surrounding community. When you visit, you're not just having a good time but supporting a way of life.
Pricing for the Pendleton Round-Up varies depending on the day, the specific event, and who is going. Tickets for performances like concerts and the rodeo are approximately $20, varying only slightly depending on the location of the seating.
For smaller events, general admission, usually around $5, may be all that is needed. There is also a range of family package deals which incorporate performance tickets with vouchers for food and drink. Certain days give reduced pricing to children 17 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, check out the Pendleton Round-Up website.
Getting to the Pendleton Round-Up will likely mean that motorists travel through or near one or more national forest areas. Just north of the grounds is the Umatilla River, while in the south is a pair of large roads and interstates. Most people take I-84 and get off at Westgate if coming from the west or highway 30 if coming from the east. There are entrances located along both SW Court Avenue and Westgate.
There is no official parking on the premises, with the rest of city parking coming on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you arrive late, you can look for a series of downtown parking sites on SE Court Avenue, but they will require money to park. This downtown parking option is along the parade route near several RV campgrounds.
Because parking is situated all over town, the Pendleton Round-Up does offer a shuttle service. This service drives all through the city and stops near many of the hotels and casinos. Other shuttle services can be found throughout the county. If arriving via a taxi or other private service, make sure to be dropped off by the east ticket booth near the main gate.
Because of the limited space at the grounds, the Pendleton Round-Up does not offer RV or tent camping. The good news is there are many great facilities in the surrounding area that do.
Campers will find a range of RV campgrounds located throughout the City of Pendleton, with a notable cluster located all along the Umatilla River. While these locations vary in hookups and features, many of them offer electric, water, and sewer. Regardless of where you are staying in the area, you should never be more than a few minutes away from any of the main roads or highways, any of which you can take back to the stadium.
The grounds are organized around the stadium itself, with souvenir stands, sponsor buildings, and a convention center stretched along the perimeter. The parade route is naturally prominent and usually starts along SW Dorion Avenue, swings around SE Court Avenue, and ends just past the stadium. Wheelchairs and other ADA approved implements are allowed for people with disabilities.
When packing for your trip to Pendleton, make sure to bring a variety of clothing types. Temperature can fluctuate highly, so have a little bit of everything like shorts, pants, t-shirts, and a light jacket with you or available in your camper. Despite being located in the northwest, the weather can be somewhat dry in September.
Because this is a round-up, you may want to bring a cowboy hat, boots, and jeans. Other items are ultimately left up to you. Think not only what to bring to the stadium like knapsacks and purses, but also what to take to your campgrounds to stay entertained. Plans to hike in the areas nearby and enjoy the surrounding nature sites will be a good reason to keep some first aid items on hand.
The Pendleton Round-Up believes in safety, with numerous items banned as a result. With the exception of service dogs, other animals are not allowed, neither are glass containers, weapons of any kind, or laser pointers. When visiting the area, make sure you pack your bag with sunscreen, bug spray, and whatever medication you may need during your stay.
What you can cook with is highly dependent on what kind of campgrounds you choose in the area. Several RV campgrounds prohibit the use of open fires, but some have allowed for charcoal and gas grilling in the past within carefully observed conditions. If you need fuel or food staples, downtown Pendleton offers multiple grocery stores.
If you're looking to grab a bite to eat after a long day at the round-up, then you are in luck as Pendleton is home to many restaurants, local eateries, and otherwise. There are several fast-food places on SW Court Avenue. If you want a good sit-down place but can't decide what kind of grub you want to try, take a walk down Main Street as it is packed full of many different places.
Pendleton Round-Up has plenty of food vendors in and around the stadium that serve delicious barbeque and tasty hot dogs. A permanent staple on the grounds is Goldie's Bar, a place where those 21 and older can grab a drink, listen to music, and gamble. The official round-up store sells all sorts of memorabilia ranging from jewelry, clothes, hats, postcards, and much more.
If you lose anything, lost and found will be at the security trailer outside of the stadium to the northwest. While purses, bags, and boots are allowed on the premises, they are subject to a search by personnel. Any weapons and paraphernalia will be confiscated, and guests may be asked to leave the grounds if these are brought to the site.
Weather in the northwest part of the country is known for being wet and dreary at times. September can often bring a few drier days in the City of Pendleton. Temperatures can fluctuate a bit with highs reaching into the 80s. A cold front from the north can cause the temperature to plummet considerably though with lows in the 40s not uncommon.
Emergency crews are equipped to reach the site quickly in case of an emergency. While everyone should have a personal kit with basic medical supplies, first aid stations are available on the event grounds. Multiple medical centers are located throughout, with an emergency room about a 15-minute drive south on Highway 395. Pharmacy services are situated within a 10-minute drive of the round-up site.