Cavalcade planned with minimal changes

Robert Smith

The chairman of the Cavalcade Rodeo on Monday told Osage County commissioners the annual amateur event has made adjustments to allow it to proceed as planned, July 13-19.

“We’ve put together some protocols,” Chairman Jeff Bute said. He noted that the area at the county fairgrounds that Cavalcade uses for a dance can probably accommodate 4,000 people, but the rodeo has put just 1,000 dance tickets on sale online.

Bute also told commissioners that Cavalcade has just one food and beverage vendor, a person the rodeo has relied on for that service for three decades. The significance of that is Cavalcade will only have one refreshment vendor with whom to coordinate, making things easier. Bute said health department guidelines will be followed by its food-and-drink operation.

Bute told the Journal-Capital that another traditional characteristic of Cavalcade that will be an advantage as the rodeo seeks to avoid any transmission of COVID-19 is that most rodeo activities are outdoors.

“We intend to be one hundred percent in compliance with whatever our state mandates as we move forward,” he said. This will be the 74th consecutive year for Cavalcade. Bute said one Cavalcade activity that has been canceled for this year is the Queen’s Barbecue, which typically takes place indoors. There will, however, be a Queen’s Basket Auction fundraiser, which will be held in town rather than at the fairgrounds, he said.

COVID-19 has been spreading in Osage County the past three weeks, as the number of confirmed positive tests has grown from 102 as of June 8 to 160 as of June 29. Concerns about COVID-19 caused the family of the late Jerry Howerton, a former county commissioner, to cancel a memorial service for him that had been scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In general, Osage County organizations that hold public events are looking at this point to reschedule events that were postponed, and to avoid the postponement or cancellation of events scheduled for later in the year. The Osage County Historical Society Museum said it is working to reschedule its annual “Heroes and Legends” dinner for the evening of July 30 at the Ag Building at the county fairgrounds.

Macy Strom said Monday that the Osage County Free Fair is being planned for Sept. 9-12, and that arrangements are being made for special events that will take place at the same time, and in addition to traditional Free Fair activities. Strom said one of those special events is as carnival. She voiced hopes that it will be possible for the Free Fair to see audience growth this year. One concern she expressed, though, is whether area schools will allow students to attend.