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Crowd limit of almost 3,000 approved for Stampede

FILE PHOTO: Courtesy the Cody Enterprise

CODY (WNE) — The Cody Stampede Rodeo on July 1-4 has been approved to seat nearly 3,000 people – 45% of capacity in each seating area – a huge boost from the current limit of 600 people, as Cody Nite Rodeo is allowed initially.

Stampede president Mike Darby said the board’s exemption request to seat 2,835 people was approved Friday by state public health officer Alexia Harrist.

“I am supportive of this event occurring as stated in the plan,” she wrote in her note approving the request. “As much as face coverings can be encouraged for all attending the event, that would be appreciated. Good luck with the rodeo and I hope that it is a success.”

The rodeo grounds seat more than 5,000 people so the new occupancy limit still allows for much more spacing. There are also hand sanitizer and masks available.

“We feel that we can hold an event that is safe and that will not contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the board wrote in its request.

It also noted that, unlike the Nite Rodeo that regularly attracts many summer tourists, Stampede attendance is roughly 97% local.

“Our community fully supports this event, and allowing more of our locals to attend as they are accustomed to doing, is vitally important to help boost moral and demonstrate our economy is on its way to recovery in these challenging times,” the board wrote. “Holding our Stampede Rodeo and allowing our community to safely gather is a sign of hope, a reflection of our freedoms and a chance to rebuild unity, promote community spirit and our western lifestyle.”