Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo is moving forward as planned

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo Grounds employee Kelly Knight answers the phone, at the Rodeo Grounds ticket office, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
Alex Wallner/Standard Democrat

SIKESTON — Despite COVID-19 concerns, the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo Board of Directors announced they will move ahead with the annual events this year, while using precautions.

All of the events for the 68th Annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, including the parade on Aug. 1 and rodeo from Aug. 5-8 will be conducted as normal and allow supporters and fans to participate at the level they feel comfortable.

In a release from the Board of Directors Tuesday, they said they “acknowledge that additional safety and sanitation measures will be necessary in order to facilitate public participation, and in good faith intend to work with County and State entities to make sure we are following a best practices protocol. The Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo Board of Directors intends to move forward with appropriate planning, of which public safety will be the top priority.”

The annual event has a $6 million economic impact on the community each year and the Board stated, “canceling this event would have a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of our friends and neighbors.”

As part of the Board’s extensive planning and preparations, a three-stage focus for the 2020 rodeo event was developed.

1. Protect the health of our volunteers, participants and communitues

2. Support the community through the donation of generated event revenues back into our area non-profits so they can continue to make a difference for so many

3. Preserve tradition of the 68-year rodeo event that has epitomized community spirit and volunteerism, while safeguarding the health of everyone involved.

There are several new precautions that are being implemented for public safety at this year’s rodeo.

The first is the creation of an infection mitigation coordinator. The new position will develop and review health and safety plans for the facilities and will provide on-site guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmissions. The position will coordinate his efforts with Scott County health officials, bringing in as many people as we can to make it a true community and county effort.

Also, the venue will be sanitized. As soon as vendors begin to load in, surfaces and objects that are touched frequently, like bars, dining and food service areas; restrooms; meeting rooms, offices, break areas and staging areas, will be regularly disinfected using products approved by health officials using state guidelines.

Workers and volunteers will practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and wear gloves and face coverings when needed.

The box office will minimize the number of interactions that result in the exchange of items between staff and customers like tickets, cash and credit cards. Personnel will wear face masks and protective gloves as well.

Entry scanners will also wear a face mask and gloves. Bags will still be checked upon entry for security reasons and sanitizer stations will be found immediately upon entry to ensure patrons enter with clean hands. Ushers will also wear appropriate PPE and limit their physical contact with patrons.

Concession workers will place food and beverages on the table, counter or other surface, rather than handing purchases directly to patrons and where practical, physical barriers such as clear plastic partitions will be installed at registers.

Bartenders will wear face masks and gloves and patrons should hold their own identification for bartender inspection.

There will also be no draft beer as aluminum, single-serve bottles will be utilized to create a more sanitary and safe transaction, and bottled beverages will be used whenever possible.

Event staff will limit the occupancy of restrooms to ensure social distancing and the waiting area will be monitored to ensure social distancing. Also, hand washing stations will be provided at all points of ingress and other well-marked, illuminated locations throughout the venue.

There are many other precautions that will be made and can be found at SikestonRodeo.com.

Tickets are still on sale at the box office or online at SikestonRodeo.com. Entertainment scheduled is Chris Lane (Aug. 5), Ashley McBryde (Aug. 6), ZZ Top (Aug. 7) and Joe Nichols (Aug. 8).

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