Another East Texas event — the Gladewater Roundup Rodeo — has been canceled over COVID-19 concerns.
The rodeo’s board has voted not to stage the event this year.
“This has been a heart-breaking decision. It’s been our hope all along to move forward with this year’s rodeo,” Gladewater Rodeo Association President Chris Thompson, said in making the announcement. “But we now feel it is in the best interest of participants, fans, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers to cancel this year’s event at this time.”
The rodeo, one of the longest running traditions in East Texas since its founding in 1938, was set to take place June 10-13 in Gladewater. The event annually draws thousands of spectators and top professional competitors.
“Primarily, the decision is based on concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus and public safety, and the second issue is that we are only allowed to accommodate a 25% crowd capacity. The loss of revenue would be detrimental to the financial future of this great institution,” Thompson said.
Earlier this week Gov. Greg Abbott announced guidelines on the staging of rodeos and equestrian events.
“Spectators are allowed, provided that indoor venues limit the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the total listed occupancy of the venue, and outdoor venues may operate at up to 25% of the normal operating limits as determined by the facility owner. Six feet of separation between individuals not within the same household should be maintained to the extent feasible.”
Health officials have said that avoiding crowds and maintaining social distancing help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We thank everyone for their support throughout this difficult period, and we look forward to welcoming East Texas back when the Gladewater Round-Up Rodeo returns in June 2021,” Thompson said.
Any purchased rodeo tickets will be refunded.