What are the effects of COVID-19 on the Ute Stampede Rodeo?

By: Kylee Taylor

Photo by: Steve Gray

The Ute Stampede Rodeo is one of the longest-running rodeos in the state of Utah. They are looking to hold their 86th consecutive rodeo in July. In a short couple of weeks, the Stampede will be held in Nephi, Utah.

For many members of the community, this event is as important as Christmas. This is an extra special year because so many fairs and rodeos around the country haven’t been able to happen. With the novel coronavirus affecting so many across the world right now, it's understandable that some events can not continue. However, the community over the Ute Stampede is determined to safely hold their event.

Many ask what it will look like this year. What can spectators expect to be different? What about participants? Will there be a carnival, as there has been before? Most importantly, is it safe to attend?

Chris Memmott, the president of the Ute Stampede committee, sat down and addressed these issues and questions. He stated that there will still be a very exciting and fun rodeo, despite the circumstances. However, he explained that the operations of entering the event, visiting the concession stands, and using the restroom are going to look different this year.

The committee is dedicated to making sure the public is able to enjoy their time at the rodeo and feel safe in doing so. They will have signs around to remind people to practice social distancing, they will have hand sanitizer stations located all over the grounds and encouragement for the public to use as much of it as possible. While a mask is not required, it will be encouraged. They will have traffic control, maintaining the flow of people in and out of the doors. Memmott also says the crowd will be at half the normal capacity to make sure the crowd feels comfortable.

This is in an effort to give people the opportunity to move if they feel uncomfortable. The participants and volunteers will be screened before entering the rodeo. They will be checked for a fever and other symptoms. “The Ute Stampede is following the PRCA COVID-19 guidelines to ensure safety amongst the volunteers, participants, and the crowd,” Memmott said. The PRCA guidelines can be found on prcarodeo.com under the COVID-19 rules. The City of Fun Carnival contracts the Ute Stampede Rodeo almost every year and is still planning on hosting activities this year. “They are a part of our rodeo family and it wouldn’t be the same without them,” Memmott stated. The City of Fun Carnival is going to be following state guidelines and may have fewer rides more spread out. They will have everyone's safety in mind throughout the duration of the event.

Memmott wants to ensure that the committee is doing everything they can to make it a safe environment for everyone, and he invites everyone out to Nephi on July 16th,17th, and 18th. There will be specialty acts including Troy Lerwill as the rodeo clown and Madison McDonald as a trick rider. They will also have Flying U as the stock contractors. Find out more information on the utestampederodeo.com

or on Facebook under Ute Stampede Rodeo

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