TOWNSEND — The 2020 Broadwater County Rodeo, scheduled for the first week of August, has been canceled this year.
On Friday, Rodeo Board President Wynn Meehan presented a COVID-19 plan for the multi-day event to the Broadwater County Board of Health.
The plan was developed with guidance from the County’s sanitarian and following the State’s Phase Two guidelines.
In a split decision, the plan was denied with Board Chairmen and County Commissioner Mike Delger saying the risk of COVID from the event was just too high for the community given the number of people that come in for the rodeo from all over.
“I don’t want to be the county to blow it up,” said Delger. “Sure you can have a great weekend, but I think the risk far outweighs the benefit.”
Board members also raised concerns about rising COVID-19 cases around the state, and were worried the state would be in a worse place by August.
Meehan expressed frustration with the decision, and believes the rodeo is being held to a different standard than other events even though it’s following state guidelines.
“Lincoln rodeo is still a go, Big Timber is this weekend, Ennis is next weekend ,Harlow is next weekend, and some of those rodeos are a heck of a lot bigger than ours,” said Meehan. “So it’s really kind of frustrating that they can’t see past their own issues and make a little bit better decision, but it is what it is.”
The proposed rodeo plan would have required masks for areas where social distancing was difficult, and ticket sales were limited.
Meehan also noted the summer weekend population of people recreating in Broadwater County is already more than the number of people the rodeo would bring in.
At the Broadwater County Board of Health, County Health Services said they didn’t believe holding the rodeo was a good idea. County Attorney Cory Swanson also raised the concern of the County being sued over holding the event.