By MEAD GRUVER Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Cheyenne Frontier Days, billed as the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history due to the coronavirus, the city’s mayor said Wednesday.
Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr told The Associated Press event organizers decided the risk of spreading the virus was too great for the more than 140,000 people who typically visit the city for Frontier Days over the last two weeks in July.
Article continues below...
“What this pandemic means is we just can’t come together,” Orr said Wednesday. “We really have to stay apart so we can come together again sooner rather than later. It’s clear that we just aren’t going to be ready for this.”
Frontier Days carried on through both world wars and the Great Depression, when tough finances prompted it to become a mostly volunteer-run event. To this day, a small army of local volunteers runs the Western heritage festival of rodeo, music concerts, carnival rides, parades and downtown pancake breakfasts that feed thousands of people at a time.
Bars all over town are typically standing-room-only during Frontier Days.
The rodeo is also a big draw for top rodeo athletes. A Frontier Days belt buckle is among the sport’s most coveted prizes.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: email@example.com
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.