WEST JORDAN, Utah — Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the City of West Jordan has announced its decision to cancel its long-standing and largest event of the year, the Western Stampede.
The rodeo, which has been held every year since 1954, was scheduled for July 2-4.
“This was a difficult decision," West Jordan Mayor Dirk Burton said in a news release Friday. "The Western Stampede is not only an event that brings people within our city together, but brings in people from all over the state. Because of its popularity, we recognize it will be difficult to comply with social distancing guidelines, put forth by the health department. Our resident's health and safety are our top priority.”
Mayor Burton held off on making the decision as long as possible, in hopes that state and county public health guidelines would be further relaxed. However, contractual agreements required a decision now, according to the news release.
“In addition to concerns regarding social distancing at such a popular event, Salt Lake County is not currently accepting applications for mass gatherings,” Burton said. “We don’t know if or when those applications will be taken this summer. It’s important that the city not expend funds on an event that may not take place.”
The city has seen success over the last couple of weeks with socially distant events, like a flag display in Veterans Memorial Park and Friday night family flix, viewed at home utilizing Netflix. Planning is underway for additional activities that will take place through the end of the year.
“I’ve asked staff to start looking forward to next year’s Western Stampede," Burton said. "We’ve already made plans to ensure it will be more spectacular than ever before."