The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced Thursday that its 2021 Livestock Show will skip the adult Open Show and instead just focus on the Junior Show and certain Youth Show events.
The same pandemic that forced the early closure of the 2020 show is expected to still be casting its shadow over the 2021 show. That the show is still going on reflects a certain degree of optimism, tempered with the reality that some significant adjustments are going to have to be made — including social distancing — to help prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
According to Chris Boleman, Rodeo president and CEO, the decision to include youth events only was made to better ensure the health and safety of exhibitors and HLSR guests. He said additional plans for this year's three week livestock show and rodeo scheduled for March 2-21, will be announced toward the end of the year.
“While our 2021 Livestock Show might look different amidst COVID-19, we are optimistic that we will be able to welcome back our Open Show exhibitors to the Rodeo grounds in 2022, and give them the experience that they deserve and expect at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Boleman.
The 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was in operation for a few days last March amid the beginning of coronavirus fears. When it was discovered that there was a case of community spread, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on March 11 they were cutting short effective immediately.
In a press release announcement, HLSR said:
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is planning for participants to be able to compete in the 2021 Houston Livestock Show Junior Show, following the necessary health and safety protocols in place. Specific health and safety guidelines for Junior Show exhibitors will be posted as soon as they are finalized. Livestock entries for the 2021 Junior Show will open Nov. 15 and close Dec. 15, 2020. Junior Show competitions include Breeding Beef Heifers, Breeding Gilts, Breeding Sheep, Dairy Cattle, Market Barrows, Market Broilers, Market Goats, Market Lambs, Market Steers and Market Turkeys. In addition, various judging competitions and contests will be held, including Ag Mechanics, Archery, Industrial Craft, Junior Commercial Steer and Young Guns Shooting Sports and some virtual events like the Ag Science Fair and Public Speaking Contests. Youth competitions that will take place include Youth Meat Pen Rabbits, Youth Breeding Rabbit/Cavy, and Llama & Alpaca shows.
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