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Crooked River Roundup Week is filled with activities of all kinds to enjoy and people should take time to participate

As you may have noticed, the Central Oregonian has committed considerable time and resources to covering the Crooked River Roundup. This of course is nothing new as we have produced several Roundup-themed articles on multiple front pages leading up to the event and a special section in the paper the week of the event. In addition, the programs provided during the rodeo were created and printed right here our office and print shop.

We don't say this to toot our horn, but rather to point out to readers and other residents that among the major events that take place in this community, the Crooked River Roundup stands tall above the rest. Locally, it has become a weeklong event that spawns storefront decorations, a street party, a cattle drive and a parade. This all leads up to the main event, a three-day rodeo that celebrates Prineville's proud cowboy heritage and Western pioneer roots.

And since it is such a big deal, we feel that this community should treat it that way and embrace the weeklong fun. The festivities kick off on Wednesday when the cattle drive rolls through town. Honestly, why would anyone want to miss that? Cattle paraded down a state highway, past businesses, traffic lights on route to the fairgrounds – it's an event growing more uncommon by the year, yet you can still experience here in Prineville.

Then comes the street party, highlighted by live music, activities for the kids and a chili cook-off that pits the police, sheriff and fire departments against each other for bragging rights. Your role? Show up, eat the free chili, and vote for your favorite.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when the Roundup Parade returns. Filled with floats, rodeo queens from all over Oregon and much more, the event always draws a crowd lining the local thoroughfare. Who doesn't love a parade?

Then there is the rodeo itself, the main purpose behind all of the festivities. We realize that not everybody has gone country. Perhaps you have never slid on a pair of cowboy boots or donned a cowboy hat. But even if you have never rode a horse or visited a farm or ranch, the rodeo offers a special type of entertainment and energy that everyone should experience at least once. Steer wrestling, bull riding and even wild cow milking – a new feature this year – are just part of the show that draws tens of thousands to Prineville every summer.

This week we invite and encourage people to embrace the historic cowboy culture that has come to define the Crook County community and participate in as much of this Roundup Week as you can. It's a big deal around here and you shouldn't miss it.

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