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2021 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo canceled

The carnival midway attracts tens of thousands each year, in addition to many other Stock Show attractions and events at the Will Rogers complex.

The executive committee of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo voted unanimously to cancel the 2021 Show scheduled for Jan. 15-Feb. 6.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for our leadership and was not made lightly,” said Stock Show President and General Manager, Brad Barnes. “We wanted to find a way to safely hold a show for our 1.2 million guests, exhibitors and competitors. Unfortunately, the challenges we face to create practical and enforceable protocols and procedures to comply with COVID-19 guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are extremely daunting. The uncertainty of the virus potential spread across Texas and the nation during the upcoming flu season was another major factor weighing on our decision.”

Daily Stock Show attendance can exceed 140,000 people who crowd into buildings at the Will Rogers Memorial Center to see livestock, shop, dine, enjoy the carnival midway and petting zoo as well as watch the many shows and competitions.

Each year exhibitors typically travel from approximately 235 of Texas’ 254 counties and 40 states filling the various barns where they work in close proximity preparing their animals for exhibition. Consultations with infectious disease and public health professionals indicate the Stock Show would rank as a “very high risk” for spread of COVID-19, potentially impacting populations and health care systems.

“The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “We support the Stock Show’s executive committee in making this difficult decision.”

The only other time a Stock Show was canceled was 1943 near the height of World War II.

“Today we’re in another war with an enemy that’s invisible and quite deadly,” Barnes said. “We feel a responsibility to be proactive, in order that COVID-19 is brought under control sooner rather than later. For fans of Fort Worth’s oldest and largest public event, our common goal is to help bring the pandemic to an end so future Stock Shows won’t be in jeopardy.”

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