News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

COVID-19 forces Sisters Rodeo to cancel

In the face of rising COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County, and restrictions limiting capacity enforced by local and state government agencies, the Sisters Rodeo Association (SRA) Board of Directors made a unanimous decision on Tuesday, April 13, to cancel the 2021 Sisters Rodeo.

This is the second year in a row that the coronavirus pandemic has forced cancelation of the event.

The Association reported that they have worked diligently with State and County officials for the past several weeks and looked at the situation from all angles, including feedback from community businesses, fellow rodeo associations, stock contractors and sponsors.

The Sisters Rodeo Association thanked the Deschutes County Commissioners for their effort in support of the Rodeo during this process.

The Board of County Commissioners had requested that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission issue a provisional permit to the Rodeo, a key step if the event was to move forward.

OLCC reportedly would not issue such a permit while Deschutes County remains in an elevated risk category under state metrics.

“We were not able to meet all of the standards and protocols established by the State of Oregon’s Health Authority," said Rodeo Association President Curt Kallberg. "The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County put our five-day event in the high-risk category. With the limitations placed on events for capacity, we had to make our decision based on our financial capabilities to try again next year [in 2022] to have a full capacity rodeo.”

Postponing the rodeo to a later date in 2021 was not an option, the Association reports. Due to other obligations, the rodeo’s stock contractor, announcers, and entertainment/contracted personnel would be unable to all get to Sisters at the same time. All tickets for the 2021 rodeo that have been pre-sold will automatically rollover to the equivalent dates for the 2022 Sisters Rodeo.

The Association further noted that, although there is a chance the virus may be under more control by June, the safety of the volunteers, members, and the possible exposure they would be subjected to while working at the Rodeo is a primary concern. The rodeo was also obligated to notify the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) of the cancellation in a timely manner to allow contestants and contractors to be informed and able to make other arrangements.

“With heavy hearts, the decision had to be made,” said SRA Public Relations Director, Amorita Anstett. “The Sisters Rodeo will survive and will come back next year. We ask our fans and community to stay with us during these challenging times and hope, that come the second week of June in 2022 we will be ready to rodeo and once again present the ‘Biggest Little Show in the World.’”


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