Let’s do a rodeo: 2021 Elizabeth Stampede scheduled for June 3-6
Forced to cancel the 2020 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, CO, rodeo organizers faced more unknowns in early 2021. At an early-year meeting, they questioned whether to go forward. Would public events be allowed? Would spectators be allowed in the stands? If yes how much? Would the sponsors be ready to commit in the face of so much uncertainty? Adjustments could be made, but planning for the rodeo in 2021 was fraught with financial risk for one of the best small town rodeos in the country.
“The only answer we could find was that we needed to dramatically increase our sponsorship,” said Traci McClain, President of Elizabeth Stampede, of the early discussions between board and committee members. “Some people said don’t do it, it’s too risky, we might lose our shirts. But then there was a group that sat down and thought about it and the answer was basically, and I’m going to give you a quote from someone, “I’m going to fight like hell to have this rodeo.” Everyone decided to dig in and do it.
Rolling up their sleeves, the Elizabeth Stampede board and committee members set goals for more local sponsorship, while focusing on adding larger national sponsors. By the self-imposed April deadline, the board felt good enough to give the green light.
“We went out and we did it,” McClain said. “We have 50% more sponsors than we have ever had in the past – 150% of normal. The community has really intensified. They reached out to us and supported us in a huge way.
Strong community support has been a factor for the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo since its inception. Formally rebooted and named in 1965 after inconsistent events and amateur rodeos that unfolded in the early 1900s, 2020 was the first hiatus in 55 straight years of action for what had become the County’s largest annual event. ‘Elbert Colorado.
As the state of Colorado drops mask warrants in May and declares that the state’s other public health orders for the coronavirus will expire on June 1, Stampede officials look forward to a busy rodeo, though safety and precautions are in place for the public.
“We’re still cautious about this,” McClain said of the measures put in place to help prevent any potential spread of COVID. “We are aware of this and also want to allow people to make their own choices as much as possible.”
Actions taken by the Elizabeth Stampede include canned foods prepared off-site for applicants, volunteers, etc., on-site beverages served in cans rather than mugs, online shopping with contactless parking, and scanning rodeo tickets, separate exit and entry gates, seating options for Thursday. concert, etc.
“We want everyone to be safe,” added McClain. “I have no doubts that we can do it. I think we have the safeguards in place that we need to take to ensure the safety of our participants – competitors, spectators, entrepreneurs, everyone – so that they can make choices.
With the rodeo now on the horizon for June 3-6, McClain said the early ticket sale showed excitement.
“We are ahead of what we normally do in ticket sales,” she described, but urged anyone considering participating to take action. “Our Friday nights and Saturday nights (rodeos) almost always sell out a few days before the rodeo starts. Afternoon performances, we usually have walk-in sales.
Regarding the community as a whole, the President of the Stampede described pent-up anticipation.
“I think we’re breaking out at couture, honestly,” McClain said. “Everyone from volunteers to the community, spectators and people on social media, they can’t wait to go. I think people can’t wait to go out and enjoy the summer and have fun with each other. We all missed each other. “
A paragraph about the Elizabeth Stampede from a 1966 rodeo brochure stated: “The Elizabeth Stampede, now celebrating its second anniversary, began in early July 1965 with a simple sentence: ‘Let’s do a rodeo’ , spoken by one of the righteous members of the Running Creek Extension Club. The phrase was taken up with enthusiasm until it became a crescendo.
In 2021, the crescendo will start again.
“Let’s do a rodeo.”
For more information on the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo or to purchase tickets for the concert or one of the rodeo shows, check out their website at https://www.elizabethstampede.com/
Rogers is a freelance writer and photographer located east of Parker, Colorado. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can find him on USA.Life on his Lincoln Rogers Sharing The West page. “