Hells Canyon Mule Days Marks 42 Years of Family Fun

Hells Canyon Mule Days in Enterprise, Ore., will be three full days of events this year on Sept. 8, 9 and 10, including classes for every age group and skill level.

The gates open at 8 a.m. on Friday with a lineup of driving classes. The afternoon events include the Timed Trail Class in the main arena, followed by the Log Pull and other fun events. Highlights of the weekend include the Classic Jump-Off Challenge and fast-action events such as pole-bending, barrel racing and the “Fast Ass Express.“

For special tips on training your mule, free clinics will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.

You can stroll on the Green and visit with vendors, exhibitors and Western artists, including featured artist Bonnie Shields. The Max Walker Memorial Cowboy Poetry Gathering will start at 7 p.m. on Friday in the historic OK Theatre in downtown Enterprise. Admission is a $10 donation to the Max Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund. Early arrival is advised, as this quickly becomes a standing-room-only event.

Before the Grand Entry on Saturday, the Kids Stick Mule and Boot Scramble Races are scheduled. These events are for spectators ages 4 through 9. There will also be awards for the oldest spectator and the one who has traveled the farthest to attend.

On Saturday, don’t miss the non-motorized parade with grand marshal Cal Henry leading the procession of riders, teams, pack strings, local horse clubs and former grand marshals. Saturday evening, enjoy the Memorial Scholarship Pit Barbecue Dinner and country music, and visit the indoor arena at 6 p.m. for the Private Treaty Mule Sale.

The Saturday-night concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the OK Theatre, with Dave Stamey, the Charlie Russell of Western Music, and opening act Andy Bales. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Sunday morning starts with Cowboy Church at the outdoor stage on the Green. The Dutch Oven Cook-Off starts at 9 a.m., and you can enter the competition on the Mule Days website. You can purchase a People’s Choice packet, sample each team’s dishes, and vote for the best.

Your HCMD Souven-ears Admission Button, valid for return privileges all three days, is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and older) and $3 for kids 7-12. Kids 6 years and younger are admitted free with an adult. Daily admission is $5 for adults and seniors, and $2 for children 7 through 12.

For more information, visit hellscanyonmuledays.com or call Sondra Lozier at (541) 263-0104.