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Board cancels Shawnee's 2020 rodeo amid pandemic

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star
The sun sets during the International Finals Youth Rodeo at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Okla., Monday evening, July 8, 2019. The 2020 rodeo will not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 27 years, the International Finals Youth Rodeo has been a summer event in Shawnee, but this year, organizers have decided to cancel the event because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According the IFYR website, the decision to cancel this year’s event was made during the April 22 Shawnee Civic and Cultural Development Authority Board of Trustees meeting.

“The decision was extremely difficult for the members of the Board,” the site reads.

Registration was set to begin for the July rodeo on May 1.

“The decision was not made lightly and the health of our athletes and their families, volunteers, rodeo personnel and staff is the top priority of the board during this unprecedented time,” the IFYR posted on its Facebook page Thursday. “The IFYR is more than an event, it is a family. Those who have been involved through the years know the importance of relationships, memories and opportunities fostered during rodeo week and we anticipate this to continue in the 2021 IFYR.

Next year’s rodeo is scheduled July 11-16, 2021, the post reads.

Watch for updates.