Children’s Rodeo celebrates 30 years

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The InterMountain Education Service District’s Children’s Rodeo for children with special needs will celebrate its 30th anniversary during its Wednesday, Sept. 10, event at the Pendleton Round-Up.

Around 40 regional children will have the chance to be cowboys and cowgirls for the day at the event, just before the start of rodeo action at the Pendleton Round-Up. The Children’s Rodeo is sponsored by the Pendleton Round-Up Association, Happy Canyon Association and the IMESD, and is an annual event the Wednesday of Round-Up week. Support this year also comes from Swire Coca-Cola and the generous tips from the 2013 Let’er Buck Room volunteers.

“We’re so fortunate to have had such great support from the Round-Up, Happy Canyon, IMESD and our community for 30 wonderful years,” said Children’s Rodeo Director Karen Parker, who’s helmed the event for the past 26 years. “This event is near and dear to my heart, and it’s been such an amazing opportunity to have seen it grow and thrive over the years.”

Special needs children from around eastern Oregon will have the opportunity to participate in rodeo-related activities in the famous Round-Up Arena during this year’s Children’s Rodeo with the help of volunteers, including PRCA and local cowboys, and Round-Up and Happy Canyon courts.

Activities include riding a horse, riding in a horse-drawn buggy, riding a hand-rocked pretend bull, roping a pretend steer, barrel racing on stick ponies, “milking” a wooden cow and pulling a ribbon off a goat’s tail. Thanks to support from Swire Coca-Cola and the generous tips from last year’s Round-Up Let’er Buck Room volunteers, this year’s Children’s Rodeo will also feature two authentic tee-pees and a Native American drum for the children to enjoy.

Each Children’s Rodeo participant will receive a t-shirt, cowboy hat, lariat, scarf, trophy and a photo with their cowboy volunteer.

This year’s event is on Sept. 10 at approximately 11:45 a.m., right after slack, and ends at around 12:30 p.m. before the rodeo begins. For more information, please click here.

**Media: Please contact IMESD Communications Director Casey White-Zollman ( or 541-966-3115) if you plan to attend to ensure entry into the Round-Up Grounds and Arena.