HOUSTON, TX — Wednesday officials announced some tough news. The 2021 Houston Rodeo, which was scheduled for May 4 through May 23, has instead been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
”What we want to provide to the community in a time where COVID-19 is still here" said Chris Boleman, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. "We're seeing what's happening, we just didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do from a health and safety point of view."
The rodeo, concerts, parade, trail rides and the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. However, officials say the junior livestock and horse show will go on, taking place in March as private events.
”What we want to celebrate is our mission of supporting Texas youth through education," Boleman added. "Our agriculture mission through our junior livestock show and horse show."
The organization is providing $21.7 million in grants and scholarships to support youth education.
Although there’s light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel, this news sent shock waves through the Greater Houston-area.
”Everybody found out at the same time," said Jonathan Hernandez, a studio production crew member for the event. "A lot of people thought since I work for the rodeo, we would know all the inside details information, but we were as clueless as they were.”
This cancellation will greatly impact the local economy, vendors, and those who would have provided services. Individuals like Hernandez, who was preparing to earn an income from the event, are now scrambling after the news of the cancellation came as a surprise.
”It’s primarily my main source of income," said Hernandez. "You know working for the NRG production crew and it's about, let's say, 22 consecutive days of working."
Boleman says they will adapt and look for other opportunities to support the local economy in the meantime.
”We eventually will get over the hurdle," he said. "The short-term is we need to take care of ourselves, stay healthy, and do what needs to be done so we can do what we love to do,”
Boleman says he is positive they will recover strong come their 90th anniversary in 2022 in order to have an amazing event and make up for lost time.
For a history of the Houston Rodeo, click here.