Rodeo Update: Choteau American Legion
The Choteau American Legion Rodeo, held annually in Choteau, Montana, should be celebrating its 75th anniversary over the Fourth of July, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unfortunately among the summer rodeos to be canceled, as of the decision made by the Teton County Board of Health on Monday.
While the rodeo committee recently proposed a plan for holding the event with social distancing guidelines — splitting the one-day rodeo into two days with crowd size limitations and procedures to separate individuals/family groups by six feet in the stands as well as monitor the flow of traffic in and out of the arena — the Teton County Board of Health voted yesterday against holding the event.
Rodeo announcer and Choteau resident Will Rasmussen, along with many others, spoke at the meeting in favor of holding the event, citing the impact the cancellation will have on the community. “I think we should think of reasons to have a celebration, not reasons to shut it down,” he said.
But even with community support and plans for limited capacity, the size of the event is what caused concern for the board. “If you have one case out of all these people, you have no way of knowing who they were in contact with during the rodeo,” board member Elaine Sedlack told MontanaSports.com. “It would take an army of contact tracers to deal with that.”
Read more about it in the report by the Choteau Acantha.