SALT LAKE CITY — The Oakley Rodeo will go on.
The 2020 version of the famous rodeo, which runs from July 2-4, will be the 85th time the event will be held, and not even COVID-19 could stop it. There will, however, be some modifications to the event.
The most notable change will be the limitation of spectators — just 850 attendees per night (15% of the arena’s capacity) will be allowed to enter the venue. Those attendees, along with the rodeo’s staff and volunteers, will be required to sit in family groups, social distance and wear a bandana or mask or will be escorted out of the arena.
“The rodeo has been a big part of Oakley and if there’s a way to responsibly do it, without it being a health concern, we felt like there were good (people) enough who had put the work in that we thought it could be done safely and financially viable,” Oakley City councilman and rodeo committee member Tom Smart
“It became apparent that we could have one, a healthy one, and be safer than perhaps going to a store, where you have half the people or more not wearing a mask,” Oakley City councilman and rodeo committee member Tom Smart said. “There won’t be anybody in the stands not wearing masks and social distancing appropriately.”
The opening night of the rodeo will be reserved for sponsors and those who have made a donation of $1,000 for 10 tickets. Tickets for the following two nights of the rodeo will be available through a lottery system at oakleycity.com. The price will be $310 for a family group pack of 10 tickets and a parking pass. Each attendee will also receive an Oakley Rodeo bandana. People that had already purchased tickets for the 2020 Oakley Rodeo will have those tickets rolled over to the 2021 rodeo. Fans will be able to watch the rodeo live through the Cowboy Channel Plus streaming service.
The Oakley Rodeo will be one of the first major rodeos to be staged in 2020 and it expects to draw some of the top cowboys and cowgirls from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“Being in a yellow situation, we really feel that we can responsibly do something to help the rodeo profession,” Smart said.
The Oakley Rodeo is something the city is known for and Smart is happy that the show will go on.
“The rodeo has been a big part of Oakley and if there’s a way to responsibly do it, without it being a health concern, we felt like there were good (people) enough who had put the work in that we thought it could be done safely and financially viable,” Smart said.