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Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo kicks off next weekend with restrictions

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Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 19:58:47-04

WESTCLIFFE — The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo may be canceled, but Westcliffe's annual Stampede Rodeo is still a go.

The event is set to kick off July 17, marking its 74th year. However, due to COVID-19, it's going to look a lot different.

George Koons, president of the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club, said, "Last year we had in the neighborhood of 1,600 people for the rodeo. This year we won't have near that many."

It's been a decades-long tradition in Westcliffe.

Koons said, "It's a gathering of cowboys that come from all over the country."

Those cowboys - they compete in barrel racing, bull riding, and much more. While this year's event is still scheduled to happen, competitors and visitors are in for some big changes.

Koons said, "Right now our understanding is we can have 175 people in the stands...we have the stands taped off to provide for adequate distancing and we're going to have one way in and one way out."

For those who can't get a ticket in the stands Koons said, "We're planning on parking out in the east pasture where we will have the Jumbotron so people will be able to park their cars, stay in their cars, and watch the rodeo live."

He shared that the plan is to allow for 150 cars which will be 12 feet apart. When it comes to safety measures for competitors - they'll have their temperature checked.

Koons said, "If they have an elevated temperature they will go to a second screening where there will be a doctor on property and he will determine whether or not that person can stay and compete."

With all the planning and precautions being taken Koons and other organizers are hoping for a great rodeo, but it goes beyond just that.

Koons said, "We want to do as much as we can for the community because everything's been canceled this year."

Charles Bogle, president of the Custer County Economic Development Corporation, said, "Part of the deal is to have an event that we can kind of help recover some of the loss of business for our summer here...our restaurants, retail shops, and stuff like that."

Koons said, "We just want to showcase the town, show people what it's like to come to Westcliffe."

CLICK HERE for more information on the Stampede Rodeo.