What’s more American than fireworks on the fourth of July? Rodeos! And this weekend you can rustle up the family and gallop a short ride outta’ town to see two of Oregon’s best rodeos. This weekend also offers many opportunities to get close up and personal with turtles, worms and other natural curiosities or rock out with musical celebrities from near and far.




Painted Turtle Walk
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is home to one of the largest populations of Western painted turtles in the Northwest. See these beautiful reptiles and learn about the natural history of painted turtles and why they are so rare. Sat, July 2. Smith and Bybee Wetlands, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, free, all ages. Event details.



Waterfront Blues Festival
Enjoy four days packed with more than 120 stellar performances on five stages—concluding with a spectacular fireworks display over the Willamette River tops off the festival’s July 4 celebration. All gate donations go to the Oregon Food Bank. Fri-Mon, July 1-4, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 10:00 am (1:00 pm Fri) – 11:00 pm, $10 suggested donation plus two cans of food, all ages. Event details.

Family Fun with Worm Bins
A creepy-crawly, family-friendly program that will focus on engaging children while giving parents all the information they need to make a worm bin for household composting. Sun, July 3. 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, $18/members, $20/non (includes materials), register in advance, all ages. Event details.



Stupid Smelly Bus Tour
If your child is crazy about the Junie B. Jones series, then you won’t want to miss a chance to meet Junie B. when she visits Portland on her Stupid Smelly Bus Tour. Enjoy her hilarious antics through a live performance based on the bestselling series. Fri, July 1. 3:00 pm, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, free, ages 5 and up. Event details.



On the range


Molallo Buckaroo Rodeo
An Oregon tradition since 1913, the Buckaroo features rodeo show favorites (including “Mutton Bustin’”!), carnival rides, and live music, dancing, and fireworks every night after the rodeo show! Fri-Mon, July 1-4. Molalla Buckaroo Grounds, See listing for pricing, all ages. Event details.


St. Paul Rodeo
(pictured) The St. Paul Rodeo is ready to celebrate its 76th year with plenty of activities for the whole family, including the Western Showcase and the return of pig racing, a new hilarious clown and barrel man, and the largest firework displays in the area. Fri-Mon, July 1-4.  St. Paul Rodeo Arena, see listing for pricing, all ages. Event details.


– Cheyenne Terbrueggen