Union County, Oregon is, for inexplicable reasons to me, a place that many people simply drive through on their way to other destinations. Yet its laid-back lifestyle and simple beauty is some of the best in the Pacific Northwest.
One of the reasons to visit Union County is the annual Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, held in the town of Union each summer. The family-friendly event has activities for everyone and celebrates much of what makes Eastern Oregon such a fantastic place to live in and visit.
The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show began in 1907. Old-fashioned contests and events, such as draft horse races, were held at those early shows. In 1911 beef and dairy cattle were added, and swine and sheep were additions in 1920. FFA and 4-H stock became a part of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in 1925. The event continues to grow as the hard-working people who love it strive to improve attendees’ experiences.
Visit just about any town in Eastern Oregon, and you will be sure to find some sort of rodeo. Oregonians love the action of good, old-time rodeos. The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show is no exception. It includes a multi-day rodeo. There is also horse racing.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the show is the 4-H and FFA show and auction. I love to see the kids who have worked so hard at raising their animals enjoy the fruits of the labor. Their efforts are evident. It’s easy to see how they have spent long days feeding, grooming, and loving their animals. In the weeks leading up to the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show it’s possible to see children walking around the town of Union leading sheep on leashes in preparation for the occasion.
Of course, any good rodeo includes amazing young women acting as the royalty presiding over the event. Eastern Oregon Livestock Show organizers choose from among applications, and the girls must try out.
Surrounding the hubbub with the livestock and horses are the other activities taking place with the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show. These include a parade, carnival rides, dances, and cowboy breakfasts. Vendors set up, and goods may be bought. Lots of delicious food is always available. What I really love, though, is that through all of the excitement and no doubt stress for the organizers and supporters, the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show remains so family-friendly. Though it is one of the oldest rodeos in the west, its focus is on families. This means that dances are arranged not only for adults, but also for youths. Parents can feel comfortable bringing their children to enjoy authentic old-fashioned Western fun. Bring yours, and have a great time!
Sources and More Information
Visit the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show website.