(Editor's note: Wyoming Governor's release)
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and representatives from the state’s largest rodeos announced Wednesday that six of Wyoming’s large rodeos and events will not take place in 2020. This decision factored in economics, health concerns and logistics.
The cancellation decision was made collectively and includes the Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous PRCA Rodeo in late June as well the Cody Stampede, Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo in Casper, the Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Breakaway Roping, Laramie Jubilee Days, and Cheyenne Frontier Days, all scheduled for July.
“This hurts. I grew up with rodeo and it is part of Wyoming’s fabric and our culture,” Governor Gordon said. “All the rodeos impacted today are fabulous events. It is with a heavy heart, and only after many long discussions with these fine folks on ways we could make large-venue rodeos work, did we realize that it just wasn’t going to be possible this year.”
The Governor and his staff met with rodeo committee members from Cody, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Laramie, Casper and Cheyenne over the past several weeks to consider potential social distancing measures, entrance and exit plans, and other possibilities to ensure safely staging rodeos, parades, carnivals and concerts.
Flanked by representatives of all six rodeos, the Governor said that after several weeks of evaluation, discussions, and considerations of every possible scenario, it was clear that there was no safe or economically viable path forward at this time for these events.
“The health and safety of our fans, volunteers, contestants and first responders is our primary concern.” the Governor emphasized. “I know what this means for rodeo, for our communities and to Wyoming’s summer. The financial and emotional impacts are immense. But it’s the right thing to do. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure smaller rodeos and events will still be able to occur."
While these six Western celebrations are not possible in 2020, there is a statewide commitment to returning stronger than ever in 2021. A video message from organizers of all six events can be found here.