Cody impacted by cancellation of Cody Stampede
Cody IS Rodeo. That’s the motto of this small town in the northwest corner of Wyoming. But that identity has been threatened by the virus that’s sweeping the world. With this week’s announcement that the Stampede Rodeo, a fourth of July extravaganza, would not take place, the community began asking whether or not the other associated events would occur - the craft fair, the parades, and the 4th of July fireworks.
Tina Hoebelheinrich, Cody’s Chamber of Commerce Director, says that while the craft fair is always held outdoors, organizers made the difficult decision to call it off this year.
“Keeping safety in mind, how do you ensure social distancing in tight spaces?" she asked. "And make sure that folks have the ability to spread out and stay safe? We just weren’t confident that we could do that.”
Another popular aspect of the Stampede celebration is the fireworks show, which Hoebelheinrich says should be unaffected because Cody doesn't have a central viewing area for the display.
The president of the Stampede Parade Committee, Leanne Reiter, said, "the Parade Committee had submitted exemptions to the prior rules for approval, and we have not yet received that approval. At this point in time, we are moving forward as though we will have some type of event - but it will absolutely be up to our local health official on whether or not these exemptions will be approved.’”
And Hoebelheinrich encouraged residents to turn their attention away from what can’t happen this year, and focus on what can.
“Wyoming is open for business. Your neighbor’s open for business. So, how we can support our neighbors and how we can support the entire state is gonna be incredibly important. But I just know that we can do this.”