News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Hats off to Sisters Rodeo

The Sisters Rodeo Board of Directors had to make a wrenching decision last week to cancel this year’s event, which would have been the 80th Sisters Rodeo.

They made the hard, right call. Everyone involved with Sisters’ many events is fully cognizant of how important they are to the culture and economy of our community. When the Sisters Folk Festival made the decision to cancel the 2017 event due to the smoke impacts of the Milli Fire, the board knew full well the pain the decision would cause. It hurts in a whole lot of ways, and pulling that trigger is a horrible feeling.

Staging an event on the scale of the Sisters Rodeo is an immense undertaking — and the Rodeo does it all with volunteers. Those volunteers can’t get the work done that needs to get done right now, and there’s no way of knowing whether mandated shutdowns will be lifted in time for the event to go forward in any case.

And the board had to weigh the responsibility of bringing people from all over the country to Sisters in the middle of a pandemic. Conversely, they had to weigh the financial risk to the organization of laying out expenses and putting up a big purse — and then having minimal turnout due to fears of virus transmission.

The Sisters Rodeo Board of Directors cowboy’d up and did what they had to do. Hats off to ’em. And let’s all make the commitment to make the 2021 Sisters Rodeo the best Biggest Little Show in the World yet.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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