ELGIN — Another area rodeo is the latest event to be a victim of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Elgin Stampede, which was to run for the 74th year this July, announced on its Facebook page late Wednesday it has made the decision to cancel its 2020 rodeo.
The post, which is from the officers and directors of the Stampede, points to the “current COVID-19 restrictions in place in Oregon” as the reason for the cancellation and noted “a gathering of our size will not be feasible.”
Thirty-three of the 36 counties in Oregon have submitted applications to enter Phase I of Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan, including Union County. The state said last week in unveiling the plan that counties could open as early as Friday.
But as of late Wednesday, all of the submitted plans were still marked “under review” on the state’s coronavirus website.
Even if counties were able to enter Phase I on Friday and Phase II three weeks later, protocol for Phase III still hasn’t been determined, and Brown’s plan recommended that large gatherings through the end of September would need to be either “canceled or significantly modified.”
“The numerous restrictions present significant barriers to nearly every aspect of hosting a rodeo. Additionally, we are sensitive to the economic hardship many of our sponsors and spectators have faced during our state’s shutdown, and our organization relies on these folks to make our show happen,” the post said. “The Stampede Officers & Directors are extremely disappointed, and it was the very last decision we wanted to make.”
The cancellation marks the second major Northeast Oregon rodeo to be dropped due to the coronavirus and government order surrounding it.
The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show announced in April it was canceling its June performance. Chief Joseph Days in late July and the Pendleton Round-Up still remain in the chute as of Wednesday.