By Justin Seward
The Foremost Agricultural Society’s annual rodeo was slated for June 19-20.
However, the committee’s discussions have lead to tentatively rescheduling for late July amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We haven’t really made any confirmed decisions yet,” said Stacey Barrows, the Agricultural Society’s treasurer.
“As a committee, we’ve been kind of texting back and forth. But our last meeting was March 16. When they started limiting numbers, we thought we better have a plan in place because we didn’t know how long it would last. We set a tentative date of July 24-25, thinking that at all if we can have a rodeo, we don’t want to miss out on that opportunity just because it brings so much to our community.”
Barrows says the date is tentative because everything is so limited and the committee is watching what’s happening with changes in provincial measures.
“This is sometimes their (the cowboys) summer, job, way of life” said Barrows of the optimism on holding a rodeo.
“Even if we can financially afford to give them a rodeo, whether we have no audience, we’re hoping we can give something back to them.”
Barrows’ worry is if there are too many rodeos lost due to COVID-19, you will lose sponsorship from businesses.
“Without the sponsorship, we can’t put on the rodeos, she said.
“It’s expensive to put a rodeo on. You need the attendance to help pay for everything. But you also need the cowboys to still rodeo as well and the stock contractors to still be there.”
The rodeo has a broad sponsorship from the agricultural community, stretching to the Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Taber areas, she added.
“I haven’t seen an effect in the agriculture with COVID-19 yet,” said Barrows.
The committee has not hashed out a lot of details of what the new rodeo would look like.
“I think a lot would have to change before we would think on moving forward,” she said.
“I know another potential was maybe September if things could change by then. We would like to host something to keep it going on a small scale.”
Barrows confirmed the rodeo would still go in years to come if this year’s is not a go.
The Bow Island Agriculture Society decided to postpone its annual August long weekend (July 31-Aug. 1 ) rodeo to 2021 in an email response to the Commentator.