IMESD’s Annual Children’s Rodeo Takes Place on Sept. 14

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The 2023 Children's Rodeo takes place on Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Pendleton Round-Up Arena. (Contributed photo)

Smiles, laughter and lots of rodeo fun will fill the Pendleton Round-Up Arena on Thursday, Sept. 14 at the annual Children’s Rodeo.

Sponsored by InterMountain Education Service District (IMESD) and the Pendleton Round-Up Association, this event provides children with special needs ages 5 through 10 years the opportunity to be cowboys and cowgirls inside the famous rodeo location.

About 50 children from across eastern Oregon will participate in this year’s event, which gets started at 10:30 a.m.. Students from IMESD’s component school districts in Baker, Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties are eligible to participate.

The rodeo participants will enjoy various activities that include riding a horse, a horse-drawn buggy ride, barrel racing on stick ponies, “steer” roping, riding a pretend bull, milking a mock cow, Native American drumming and more. Participants will also be able to enjoy the theme of the day, Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Each participant receives a T-shirt, cowboy hat, lariat, scarf and a photo with their cowboy/cowgirl volunteer.

Spectators are welcome at the Children’s Rodeo and admission is free, but people will need to pay for tickets to the regular Round-Up Rodeo later in the afternoon.

Dozens of volunteers, including PRCA and local cowboys and cowgirls, IMESD volunteers, Round-Up volunteers and community members work to make the Children’s Rodeo a success each year.

“Every year, there is nothing like seeing the excitement of our student participants and their families who get to experience this event. We appreciate the support of Round-Up and all the volunteers who make the Children’s Rodeo possible,” said Linda Smith, Children’s Rodeo director for IMESD.

For more information about the Children’s Rodeo, visit the IMESD website or contact Linda Smith at 541-966-3141 or linda.smith@imesd.k12.or.us.

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