Saturday, September 18, 2010

Round Up!

Growing up a resident of eastern Oregon, the Pendleton Round Up wasn't just a rodeo, it was the week of the year that all other weeks were based around. People would say things like, "We'll get around to that after Round Up," or "Better get that done before you're too busy with Round Up." Schools in the county are closed, Friday night football games are played on Thursday, high school bands practice marching formations and everyone makes sure their boots are shined and their Wranglers are pressed. Yeah, it's a big deal.
When I was in middle-school, I (begrudgingly) pounded a drum in the opening parade. Later I got a job selling pop in the grandstands to parched rodeo fans. Another year I sweat in the heat on Main Street cooking up fajitas, and another year I was volunteered by my mum to work in the high school band's concession booth. When I went away to college, I'd come back for the last weekend of Round Up with a car load of girlfriends all looking for their own Pendleton Round Up adventure. We'd spend the day at the rodeo and the night out dancing and get back to my parents house exhausted and then wake up in the morning and make the eight hour drive back to school.

Our Round Up adventures are quite different now and considerably scaled back. This year we watched the Westward Ho! parade. Dan and I figured Lana would like all the animals and enjoy the marching bands. We were wrong. She liked sitting in a nearby tree.

Lana fussed through most of the parade and then fell asleep for the rest. Oh well, the parade was pretty cool and the grown-ups liked it.

To celebrate the 100 year (give or take) anniversary of the Pendleton Round Up, the parade opened with 100 riders carrying 100 American flags. This picture doesn't really do it justice; it really was quite impressive.

The parade also boasted several marching bands, lots of rodeo queens and my personal favorite, restored horse-drawn coaches and carriages.

My Grandpa Bob is a past champion of the Pendleton Round Up and he and my Grandma Ree came to town for the festivities and a big reunion of champions. I hadn't seen them for over a year and it was great to catch up with them both. They each doted on Lana and we got this picture of 4 generations of lovely ladies.
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