It’s official — events in 2021 are now being canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. The first to be announced is the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) that typically takes place in January. Dubbed the “super bowl of livestock shows” the iconic 114-year-old event is a Colorado staple that brings together people from all over for a 16-day celebration. Garnering more than 700,000 attendees, NWSS producers explained they exhausted every possible option to scale it back but were unsuccessful in part due to the indoor nature of the winter show.
“We needed to make sure we announced early enough so all the livestock producers, contestants, competitors, and exhibitors do not incur time and cost they can’t recover,” stated said Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the NWSS, “and as an indoor event in the heart of winter, we had to consider the virus could be spread more easily indoors, potentially compromising the safety and health of thousands of people. The responsible decision was to postpone the show.”
Instead of going the virtual route, the plan is to postpone until 2022. The economic impact of canceling the stock show will likely ripple through Denver as well as in the livestock industry. According to NWSS, it brings in nearly 120 million dollars and “supports 4-H and FFA partnerships that span more than a century and supports over 100 students annually studying in the fields of agriculture and rural medicine at dozens of colleges throughout Colorado and Wyoming.” Even Governor Jared Polis chimed in with a response to the news.
“The National Western Stock Show is a proud tradition in our state and one of the ways we can all come together to celebrate agriculture in Colorado and across the west. Just as I enjoyed going as a kid, we now enjoy bringing our kids in proud support of ranching in Colorado. I’m disappointed that the show couldn’t occur this time due to the pandemic, but I respect the National Western Stock Show’s decision and know it was a difficult one to make. I look forward to being able to attend an even bigger and better Stock Show the following year,” said Polis in a press release.
The stock show plans for 2022 are still underway and the date is set for January 8 through the 23, 2022. Until then, let’s hope that the start of 2021 kicks off with some better news.