In a regrettable decision made on July 2, the Ellensburg Rodeo Board has opted to cancel this year’s Labor Day Weekend rodeo event.
The year 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges, and the board diligently explored every conceivable avenue to ensure the event’s continuation. Ultimately, the board concluded that it was impossible to host the world-renowned Ellensburg Rodeo while prioritizing safety and responsibility.
Over the past three months, the entire board dedicated countless hours to planning and preparation, with the hopeful goal of staging the 97th annual rodeo.
This cancellation encompasses all traditional Labor Day weekend activities, including the Division 1 Xtreme Bulls event, parade, and concert.
Historically, the Ellensburg Rodeo was only canceled once before, from 1942 to 1944, during World War II.
The board of directors found that the challenge of maintaining community and spectator safety while adhering to ever-evolving requirements and directives became increasingly daunting. Prior to this decision, the board had been working closely with the Kittitas County Health Officer, State Representatives, Kittitas County Commissioners, Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, and various other partners.
“This was destined to be a particularly special year with the Ellensburg Rodeo’s induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. However, the safety of our community takes precedence, especially in light of the current COVID-19 risks. Our decision not to proceed was the right one,” stated Jerry Doolin, President of the Ellensburg Rodeo. “We also understand that this choice will have financial repercussions for our entire community. Therefore, any donations we receive will be channeled directly to the volunteer organizations that have been instrumental in making the Labor Day experience unforgettable.”
Further information regarding refunds and the donation program will be forthcoming in the coming days. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the entire community, fans, sponsors, Gold Buckle Members, Top Hands, Ellensburg Rodeo Posse, and our devoted volunteers, all of whom have generously contributed their time to this historic event. Although we won’t be commemorating our 97th year in person, we will be celebrating our rich history through donations and community service.
Planning for 2021 will commence immediately, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to “Watch Em’ Buck” next Labor Day Weekend.