VALE – Vale welcomes locals and visitors alike for the Vale 4th of July Rodeo and Oregon Trail Days this weekend at Wadleigh Park and the historic Vale Rodeo Grounds.
In its 107th year, the Vale rodeo is more energetic than ever with a full lineup of events, competitions, vendors, and fun. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $6 for youth under the age of 12, and free for those under 5.
The pre-rodeo events start each night from July 1 through July 4 at 7 p.m. with mutton busting, steer riding, pig scramble, wild cow milking, and ranch hand saddle bronc.
“We’re gonna have good food and cold beer, can’t go wrong with that,” said Jim Mendiola, Vale rodeo president.
The grand entry begins each night at 7:45 p.m. with the main event getting underway at 8 p.m. On Sunday, July 3, the Suicide Race begins at 8 p.m.
The biggest day of the rodeo is the Fourth of July holiday with the parade beginning at 5 p.m. at Vale High School, led by the grand marshals and rodeo queens. The parade route begins at Vale High School and goes north on Yakima, east on A Street West, south on Longfellow Street South, west on B Street back to the high school.
There is no need for pre-registration for the parade – all parade participants just need to check-in by 4 p.m.
The coronation of the 2023 Vale rodeo queen takes place at 7:45 p.m. on Monday, July 4.
“I’m looking forward to the crowd and all the people that will come to Vale and support our businesses,” said Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando. “I’m hoping that we have a very good turnout. We’ve had this rodeo for over 100 years.”
Oregon Trail Days also features plenty of fun. The Scholastic Book Fair at the Vale Library runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and carries ON the following week starting on Tuesday. Storytime at the library starts at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, July 1, with “The Treasure Box, which is a surprise,” said librarian Yvonne Tolman.
Wadleigh Park will feature 20 vendors selling food, drinks, Western wear, and more. Vendors will open at 10 a.m. each day and close at 6 p.m.
Cathy Zacharias, president of the Vale Chamber of Commerce, is looking forward to “just getting together after so long.”
The Quilt Show at ExZacht Sewing on A Street will be showing from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.
“It’s the one time of year when the whole community comes together,” said Zacharias. “It’s so much of a tradition, we rely on it.”
The Show and Shine Car Show also will be on the Fourth from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with entries judged throughout the day and awards handed out at the end.
The city-sponsored Independence Run mile, 5K, and 10K events start at 8:30 a.m. from the Vale City Pool. The run costs $25 for the two long courses and $5 for the mile.
All proceeds go to the Vale High School cross country team.
Registration is available by mail, on active.com, or in-person the day of the event.
Finally, one of the weekend’s most popular events, the Lions pancake breakfast, will kick off before the Independence Day Run at 7 a.m. and continue to about 11 a.m.
“I’ll be flipping pancakes at that for sure,” said Vialpando.