Hamel Rodeo cancels 2020 event

The Hamel Rodeo announced Thursday that it has canceled its 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year would've been the rodeo's 40th anniversary.

The rodeo helps raise money for five volunteer organizations, with more than $2 million raised for them over the past 39 years, according to the event's organizers.

"It was the socially responsible thing to do," said Rowdy Dorweiler, treasurer for the rodeo committee. "We have explored every possibility, and there is no way we can host a rodeo that is safe for our fans, volunteers, contestants, and everyone involved. State and local health guidelines are not going to allow us to gather in such a large group."

"It hurts at a lot of levels," Dorweiler added. "So many people were looking forward to the anniversary, and the energy level of our committee members and volunteers was high. All year long we've talked about how can we make this year more special?"

Ticket holders, novice barrel racers and sponsors of the 2020 rodeo will get full refunds in the coming weeks.

The 2021 Hamel Rodeo is scheduled for July 8-11.