The Vale 4th of July Parade will kick off Thursday at 5 p.m. The Parade is just one of a number of events and festivities slated this week throughout Vale. The Vale 4th of July Rodeo begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. (Enterprise file photo)
VALE — From patriotic pups to bucking bulls, this year’s 105th annual 4th of July festivities bring pride and patriotism to Vale.
The 4th of July Rodeo events get started on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. with the pre-rodeo. The grand entry is at 7:45 p.m, and the main event starts at 8 p.m. The rodeo will follow the same schedule Thursday through Saturday, with the addition of the Suicide Race on Thursday before the main event.
Oregon Trail Days events kick off at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 4, with the annual Lions Club breakfast at Wadleigh Park, followed by the fun run and car show at 8 a.m.
NOTE: Your free copy of the official guide to the rodeo and more of Vale's events is available at the Malheur Enterprise and many outlets around the county.
Later, the “Love Where You Live” parade starts at Vale High School at 5 p.m. and will move down Yakima Street to A Street before ending at Wadleigh Park pool.
After the parade, there will be a community picture at the old Vale Middle School at 403 East St. W. Anyone who attended the middle school is invited to take part in the photo.
Don’t forget the street dance sponsored by A Street Tavern. The dance will feature the sounds of Poison Creek and kicks off at 9 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m. The dance will be on Court Street North, between Mal’s Diner and Malheur Drug.
The Friday, July 5 festivities start at 11 a.m. with vendors setting up in Wadleigh Park.
A mechanical bull will be bucking at Diamond Back from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the library will have a book sale through the afternoon.
The evening wraps up with another opportunity to dance the night away at A Street Tavern’s street dance.
Saturday, July 6 is packed from dawn to dusk — and beyond — with the Christmas in July Bazaar at the Vale Garage and the quilt show in Wadleigh Park starting at 8 a.m.
Patriotic pups will be at the Vale Veterinarian dog show in Wadleigh Park at 9 a.m. Saturday and Mal’s Diner will have a dunk tank at 11 a.m. raising money for Jaylene Tolman, a local woman battling a brain tumor.
The Rodeo Queen Coronation starts at 8 p.m. and the week of festivities ends at Vale Grange Hall where the community dance will run until 2 a.m.
For the rodeo – which runs Wednesday through Saturday – Norm Durfey and his partner Buster Bains of B Bar D Rodeos will once again supply the rough stock.
“All my bulls buck pretty good…” Durfey said.
Durfey said that bull riding has steadily declined since the early 1990s, but especially within the last five years.
“The kids aren’t made the same anymore,” he said, attributing the decline to a diminishing toughness among youth.
Durfey has eighteen bulls prepared for this year’s rodeo, and said that he doesn’t keep any mean ones around. He added that the bulls buck because they are annoyed, not because they are mean.
“You gotta make them respect you,” he said.
Jim Mendiola, president of Vale’s 4th of July Rodeo, said that this year’s rodeo will have about the same number of cowboys and cowgirls performing as last year.
Each evening will feature local talent singing the National Anthem before the cowboys and cowgirls come out at the Shamrock Arena to compete in a variety of events.
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