Montanans will have the ability to watch cowboys and cowgirls tempt fate in the rodeo arena and on the Fourth of July at the Lincoln Rodeo. Sharla Lewenight, treasurer and secretary for the rodeo, said it has been a slow process trying to get approvals for the rodeo.
“Between the health department and also the insurance we just waited until the last minute because we couldn't really do anything because everything was closed," said Lewenight. "By the time we hit the second phase I was like, 'We could probably keep going. You know, go for it.' But I was mainly waiting on the health department to see what they said and how I had to change things up at the rodeo grounds.”
Lewenight did say there will be safety protocols in place, like sanitizing and social distancing requirements, and that rodeo attendees and staff will have to follow guidelines in accordance with Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to reopen Montana. Despite the extra work to get a rodeo like the Lincoln Rodeo off the ground, Theresa Sorlie, executive secretary for the Northern Rodeo Association, said they appreciate all the effort that people are going to.
“It is a little stressful, but that being said, I think the neat thing is everybody's coming together and working together," said Sorlie in a phone interview with MTN Sports. "I know we so appreciate what they're doing, because there is a lot of extra and added work to doing it, but we have some awesome committees and they just are determined to rodeo.”
Lewenight said on an average weekend the Lincoln Rodeo will draw about 1,000 people, but given the circumstances in the state and across the country, she believes the rodeo will draw pretty well this year.
“We're going to get a good hit this year, just because people are traveling and they want to get out of their house. They want to get away from everything," said Lewenight. "I think it's going to be a pretty good one this year.“