Like a bull rider trying to reach eight seconds, the Isanti Firefighters Rodeo Association was holding tightly to the hope this year’s rodeo could be held despite the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, May 12, however, organizers were bucked off their proverbial bull as they made the decision to cancel this year’s event.
“Due to the uncertainty the COVID-19 will have on summer events, (we) have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 rodeo,” read the message from Chairman Tom Pagel on their website and Facebook page. “We feel that it’s the socially responsible thing to do. We thank our loyal fans and dedicated sponsors and we will be back July 9 and 10 next year stronger than ever.”
Shortly following that announcement, North 65 Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melissa Bettendorf sent out a press release announcing the cancellation of all of the Jubilee Days events as well.
“With a heavy heart, the Isanti Rodeo Jubilee Days Committee announces that the parade, scheduled for July 9, 2020 and the activities scheduled in downtown Isanti for July 11, 2020, including kids’ day, turtle races, craft/vendor fair, corn feed, and outhouse races are cancelled for this year,” read the press release.
“The committee has met and discussed at length this year’s events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve considered many options. At this time, we are unable to safely move forward with large scale, public events in consideration of state and local guidelines. It is our priority and responsibility to assure the safety of our many volunteers, parade participants, and parade/event attendees.”
“The decision to cancel these events weighs heavily on our hearts as they bring so much joy to so many people. The parade planning, in total, takes about nine months and I truly look forward to starting work on 2021 in October,” said Nicki Dochniak, Parade Chair.
“It takes a lot of work and volunteers to put these events together. I am sad to see these events canceled and look forward to seeing everyone next year for all the fun”, said David Englund, Event Chair.