The annual Ellensburg Rodeo has been cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, scheduled to take place over the Labor Day weekend in September, traditionally includes a parade, concerts and bull riding among other things. These and other related rodeo events will no longer take place, according to a press release from the Ellensburg Rodeo board.
After working with various elected officials and other partners, including the Kittitas County Health Officer and Kittitas County Commissioner, the rodeo board determined “requirements to keep the community and spectators safe while balancing the need to meet all requirements and directives became increasingly difficult given the changing and emerging facts.”
Jerry Doolin, the president of the Ellensburg Rodeo, said in the press release he was aware of the financial impact that the cancellation will have.
“We … understand that this decision will financially impact our entire community, which is why we will be giving any donations we collect directly to the volunteer organizations that help us make the Labor Day experience memorable,” Doolin said.
According to Doolin, announcements on the refund and donation program will be announced in the coming days.
Plans for the Kittitas County Fair, held over the same weekend, have yet to be announced. The press release says that a decision on the status of the fair will be announced on July 16.
The only other time the rodeo was canceled was from 1942 to 1944, during World War II. According to the press release, planning for the 2021 Ellensburg Rodeo is already underway.