Main Street Cowboys celebrate 68 years of putting on "Greatest Show in the West"

PENDLETON, Ore. - It's the Greatest Show in the West and it wouldn't be possible without a special group of volunteers: the Main Street Cowboys.

The group was formed back in 1950 to help visitors find their way around Pendleton during Round-Up. Members wore a cowboy hat and bright purple and green button down to be easily recognized by the public to give out any information.

However, their main duty was organizing the Main Street Show. The show features different entertainment acts, food and craft vendors and a carnival for the public to enjoy.

"We have well over 200 hours of free entertainment," Show director Rod Theis said. "Whatever you're interested in, we've got it."

There's bands, clowns, magicians, mechanical bulls and face painting for people of all ages to choose from. Cowboy Johnny Blagg said it's important to them that they have something for everyone.

"We strive to make this a family friendly, free environment to help promote Pendleton and to give the tourists something other than just the rodeo," Blagg said.

The show is put on for four days and starts at 2 p.m. and ends at midnight every night, so people who go to the rodeo can have something to do after.

The show takes well over a year to plan and get everything booked. All the cowboys' work is also done on a volunteer basis, but Vice President Larry Koehne said they wouldn't have it any other way.

"We don't get paid, but when people say 'Good job' or 'We had a good time', that's our pay," Koehne said.

Anyone interested in joining the Main Street Cowboys can visit their website here for more information.

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