The Omak Stampede is back on the second weekend in August

Photo by Cheryl Landes

The 87th annual Omak Stampede is a weekend full of western entertainment. The rodeo competitions include bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, barrel racing, team roping, and tie-down riding. Also enjoy carnival rides, a Western and Native art show, rodeo dances, Native American dances, and shopping.

Two of the biggest highlights of the Omak Stampede are the World Famous Suicide Race and Indian Encampment and Pow Wow. The course for the suicide race is a 225-foot sandy bluff at the edge of the Okanogan River, across from the Stampede arena. Horses and riders race down the bluff, plunge into the river, swim or wade across the river, and dash 500 yards to the finish line in the arena.

The Indian Encampment and Pow Wow is a traditional gathering sponsored by the Colville Confederated Tribes at an authentic teepee village. Native dancers, drummers, and singers compete throughout the weekend.

The 2021 event runs from Thursday, August 12, through Sunday, August 15, at the arena at 421 Stampede Drive East in Omak, Washington.

The camps are fee. For the other events, tickets range from $14 to $27 per person, depending on the date and times you choose. For more information and to buy tickets, go to omakstampede.org.

The Omak Stampede was founded by Lee Moomaw and Tim Bernard, two local stockmen, in 1932 as a rodeo string. The stampede became official in 1933, after they approached Omak’s businessmen for support.

The Omak Stampede arena in Omak, Washington (photo by Cheryl Landes)

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