Ride ‘n Tie Days Rodeo given the go-ahead by Public Health for performances July 3-4
The Ride N’ Tie Days Rodeo received Public Health approval Thursday, June 25 to move forward with the planning and execution of the two-day rodeo, July 3-4 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.
Grand Old West Days Committee Chairman Melody Villard presented to the Moffat County Board of Public Health on June 25, providing an in-depth venue mitigation plan that Moffat County Commissioners Ray Beck, Don Cook, and Donald Broom, as well as Moffat County Public Health Director Kari Ladrow ultimately approved.
In an effort to keep spectators and participants safe while holding public events, Villard submitted a lengthy mitigation plan centered around social distancing, including the following:
- Limiting capacity per designated activity to 175. The grandstands for spectators and the rodeo arena and stalls will be considered separate designated activities with a large distance between the two activities (ie: rodeo arena between the event contestants and event spectators)
- Signage reminding spectators of personal responsibility to adhere to mitigation plans to ensure a safe event and allow for additional events to continue to take place.
- Ensuring 6 feet or more distance between all staff, contractors and visitors using the 12’x12’ estimation grid provided through the state’s calculation pages. Announce frequently the distance requirements for all to be vigilant and thoughtful about keeping the required distance.
- Signage and a queue at entrances and exits that ensures a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance between individuals. Set up additional ticket booths and pre-sale ticketed spectator entrances to pace entry and exit to prevent congestion.
- Establish single-direction traffic flow in and out of venue and seating areas. The east and west stairways to enter the grandstands will be designated One-Way IN and the center stairway will have barrier tape to separate it into two exit lanes and it will be designated One-Way OUT. Once ticket sales for entry are finished there will be signage to separate entrances and exits to be one-way IN and one-way OUT.
- Encouraging staggered guest arrival and departure times through social media to avoid congregating at entrances and exits.
- Posting visual reminders as well as frequent announcements to observe at least 6 feet social distance before, during, and after events.
- Seating will be marked with every other bench marked out for non-use to reduce mingling and signage for keeping 3 spaces between family units to reinforce the necessary distance between individuals in different households.
- Thorough cleaning and sanitization of common touch points (doors, stairway handles, light switches, etc.) prior to the event. Regular sanitizing spray application during the event as well as signage reminding people to avoid touching common points and to frequently wash hands. Hand sanitizer will be made available at the top and bottom of each stairway for those who need the assistance of the handrails and cannot avoid touching them.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available at all entrances and exits with additional stations near and in the restrooms.
Additionally, the rodeo is encouraging spectators to have exact change for tickets to encourage touchless payment. Adults are $5 each and children under 5 are free to attend the event. The rodeo is also encouraging face coverings, specifically bandanas. The rodeo will have a limited number of bandanas available for sale at the gate, according to Villard.
While the mitigation process is in-depth for spectators with safety in mind, the rodeo is also working on keeping competitors safe, implementing a mitigation plan for competitors, according to Villard’s presentation.
- Performances or competitions will meet the minimum of 25 feet distance from patrons with the distance across the arena and track.
- Rodeo contestants, judges, secretary, and stock contractors will be checked for fevers, symptoms, and exposures at arrival to the grounds.
- Rodeo contestants, judges, secretary, and stock contractors who have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 will not be allowed on the premise to participate and should self-quarantine.
- Rope barriers will be installed with One-Way entrance and exit for contestants will be designated.
- Encourage all rodeo contestants, judges, secretary, and stock contractors to wear face coverings, unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or safety procedures for their specific event. Bandanas will be highly encouraged to engage more widespread use in this western rodeo setting.
During Thursday’s presentation to the Board of Public Health, Villard proposed the idea of splitting the Fairgrounds’ grandstands into two sections, closing off the middle portion of the grandstands with plastic barriers to keep people separated. That, she said, would allow the rodeo to have two separate sections of spectators totaling 175 people each.
“If we go with the 175 people in the grandstand as is, we’re utilizing roughly 12 percent of capacity,” Villard said. “So, I’m proposing we split it down the middle and use a plastic barrier or a construction barrier, whichever you prefer, which would allow us to place 175 people on either side with proper spacing, which would then use about 23 percent of the grandstands space.”
However, Ladrow said that the idea of two sections of 175 people would need an approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, due to the size of the crowds.
Due to the timing of the rodeo and the need to submit a variance request to the state (approval of a variance request, on average, takes two weeks), Villard decided to proceed forward with just one section of 175 people.
Along with the two-day rodeo, Ride ‘n Tie Days Rodeo will hold a concert on July 4 at 6:30 p.m. Lendon James & the Hwy 34 Band Live with Christopher Thomas will play some of their hits for spectators following Saturday evening’s rodeo leading up to fireworks in Craig.
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