Well, the 86th St. Paul Rodeo has come and gone, but it’s not gone for good. It will be back next year for the 87th St. Paul Rodeo.
This rodeo is tied in with the United States 4th of July celebration. It started in St. Paul, Oregon on July 4th, 1936 and has continued to take place. This years rodeo was held from June 30th and ended the night of the 4th of July.
You might say to yourself, “Why should I read about it now that it’s over”? The reason you should read about it, is so you can get all pumped up and ready to go next year.
When you go, there is so much to do and see. I love the carnival rides there. I love the food at the fairgrounds. I love to go see all of the animals and go to the rodeo. At the end of it all, the fireworks are beautiful. It is an all day and into the night event that I look forward to annually.
If you don’t like the rodeo part of the event, go to the fairgrounds to enjoy the food, see all of the animals and ride the carnival rides.
Uh, maybe you should consider going on the carnival rides, then enjoying the food.
Tickets and the Rodeo
In order to see the rodeo you must buy a ticket to get in and to sit. There are very few exceptions to this. For instance, children under two years old do not need a ticket to get in, but they must be held on a lap of a ticket holder.
The arena has 10,500 seats but if you want to go, tickets should be reserved and paid for as soon as possible. It isn’t uncommon for the seats to sell out for an evening.
There are great and not so great seats. I’ve sat in both. I didn’t enjoy sitting in the bleachers because it felt crowded and as there aren’t any backs to the bleachers, it is hard on your back. It doesn’t really work to bring one of those folding seats with backs either, because the seating is too tight to do so.
I think the best seats are the ones with backs. They cost more though.
Click here in 2023, for availability and to see the cost of seating. If you find what you are looking for, you can reserve and pay for your tickets early, “Tickets and Deals“.
It All Starts With …. Parking
Uhhhh… yep… parking.
When you go to the fairgrounds in St. Paul Oregon, and you are driving down the main road that will go right past the fairgrounds, you may feel the urge to grab any place to park.
Don’t panic. Don’t feel you had better grab that spot to park. That one that is $20.00 as seen by the sign telling you to “Park Here $20.00”!!!!
Don’t feel the desperation that makes you want to go all the way past the fairgrounds entrance and park on the side of the road next to a ditch and a field.
The good news is there is a huge grassy field that is adjacent to the fairgrounds, (literally right next to it on the right). It’s best to bring cash for parking. Parking is less expensive there than many places (except next to that ditch and the field). So pull into that grassy field. Park and walk right into the fairgrounds.
Tickets and the Carnival Rides
If you want to ride the carnival rides at the fairgrounds, there are booths where you can buy individual tickets for a ride.
They often have special deals at the booths to save you money, so ask what kind of deals might be available to save you on the cost of tickets. Maybe they have an all you can ride pass.
My daughter and I rode the Merry-Go-Round, just because the animals on it were so beautiful.
We had great fun that day.
We went on a Ferris Wheel and on the Scrambler.
We went on the Zipper.
We rode the Fire Ball Roller coaster. It goes around and around and upside down.
I love carnival rides. Almost none of them scare me. Well, there was that one I didn’t go on. It was at the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas (909 feet over the Las Vegas strip). The roller coaster would go around and around the top. The track ends suddenly (no where to go but back). They weren’t done with a rider yet though. The roller coasted car would go to the end of the track, then they would make the track at the end drop suddenly with you in the rollercoaster car on the rails when it happens. That is the only one I ever said no to. That roller coasted closed in 2005.
I can’t say enough about the food (so I’m not gonna try much). The whole place smells great. I don’t know how our brains can sort out all of the smells and know that there are hot dogs, hamburgers, burritos, tacos, barbequed chicken, ribs and on and on.
There is quite a variety to choose from, including treats and deserts. I finally tried elephant ears (no, they aren’t made from elephants).
There are pens where you can go see animals. There are bulls to look at. There are all kinds of horses to see. Many of the horses are decorated, as they parade around the rodeo arena before the rodeo starts.
You should stop by and visit the animals when you go.
There is so much excitement in the air. The riders and horses begin with the opening ceremonies. The Star Spangled Banner is Played. Everyone stands and faces the United States flag, to honor it. Most everyone sings along.
We were lucky enough to reserve three adjoining seats in the covered seating area of the arena.
The rodeo begins and all eyes are on the action coming out of the gates at one end of the arena. There are all kinds of events. There is steer roping, barrel racing. Sometimes clowns perform tricks with barrels and bulls.
This is a bucking bronco event. Most of the riding activities are timed. There can be disqualifications if a rider isn’t positioned appropriately during a ride.
This is something you’ve got to go see.
This is steer wrestling. Basically a steer is released out of the gate. It has been trained to run forward. 2 riders ride along side the steer. One guy jumps off of his horse while it is still moving. He grabs the steer, flips it on it’s side, then lets it go.
This is bull riding. During this bull riding event, the guy seen on the ground had been on the bulls back just moments before. The guy got thrown off and was literally folded in half.
He just missed getting his right shoulder stepped on as the bull came down from a jump.
Then, the bull turned as the rider was scrambling to get up. It went after him full force. The guys on the left and the right saved this guy from being gored by getting the bulls attention on them.
After all of the events are over. People stay in their seats because they know what is coming. At the end of the rodeo, every night they set off fireworks.
The best night of fireworks is on the 4th of July.
If you want to see a great 4th of July fireworks display, this is one of the places you should consider going.
What a great show.
If you will be in Oregon June 30th to the 4th of July in 2023, you should really consider adding this event to your must see list.
Remember you should reserve seats in advance.
Don’t forget to bring your western hat.
What? You don’t have a cool and comfortable western hat? Not a problem.
I bought myself a black straw cowgirl hat. It has a beautiful turquoise beaded trim wrap and a shapeable brim.
What? You don’t have a beautiful purse to go with that new cowgirl hat? Not a Problem.
I also found an amazing on the go, small crossbody purse with a cell phone holder. It’s so handy to have when you are out and about. It also comes in a wide variety of colors and designs.
In case you don’t like a black hat, the hat comes in other colors. I like the white straw cowgirl hat.
If there is a guy who is going with you, and he doesn’t have a cowboy hat yet, take a look at this hat. This stylish men’s black straw cowboy hat is a western hat any man would be proud to wear.
Whatever you do, have fun when you go. Ride the rides, eat the food, go see the amazing athletes and the athletic animals at the St. Paul Rodeo.
Maybe I’ll see you there in 2023.