Sikeston rodeo chairman says ‘rodeo must go on'

Sikeston rodeo chairman says ‘rodeo must go on'

SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - This year’s Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo is still scheduled to take place, in the midst of the pandemic.

Event organizers are even doubling down as one big band pulls out and a headliner steps up.

“We’re going to really encourage patrons to help us keep everyone safe,” said Sikeston rodeo chairman Travis Deere. He said the rodeo must go on, as safely as possible.

“We’re going to have multiple hand washing stations,” Deere said. “Multiple new hand sanitizing stations. Sneeze guards up at every place where a patron can interact with a volunteer, as well as any volunteers that interact with our patrons will be wearing masks and gloves.”

He said it’s vital to uphold the long-standing tradition of hosting the event, as it brings more than $6 million of economic impact to the area.

“The rodeo for our organization is the number one revenue stream that we have. To be able to give back to local nonprofits and the local charities that make so much impact on our daily lives,” Deere said.

To help bring in more revenue this year, they’re bringing in a Grammy award-winning artist from the Show Me State.

“Nelly was available! You know what better year than the 20th anniversary of Country Grammar coming out,” he said. “A St. Louis, Missourian and St. Louis native. And, we just have a lot of excitement built up around this.”

As coronavirus cases spikes in the area, he’s concerned, but doing all he can to keep the public safe.

“It concerns me for our community, but at the same time, I feel that we’re going to provide a setting that’s as safe as possible and we’re going to allow our patrons to come and participate as they feel comfortable,” he said.

The Sikeston Rodeo takes place August 5-8 with gates opening at 6 p.m.

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