National Western Stock Show postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic

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DENVER (KDVR) — The National Western Stock Show has been postponed until 2022, according to spokesperson on Monday.

According to the announcement on Monday, the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for the Stock Show to host the annual event and comply with the health and safety guidelines that are necessary to protect Coloradans and help stop the spread.

Stock show officials said the projected environment through to the end of the year is too uncertain and therefore not reassuring enough to allow a traditional Stock Show to take place without potentially compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors, and the public at large.

“The decision to postpone the 2021 Stock Show is incredibly difficult for our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, business partners and the City and County of Denver,” stated Doug Jones, Chairman of the WSSA, “but the iconic western events and traditions we all know and love will be back in 2022, stronger than ever,” added Jones. 

“Over the past several months, we reviewed and exhausted every option possible to host our event including a modified show with reduced capacity,” said Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the NWSS. “Ultimately, the health and safety of our guests, exhibitors, volunteers, and staff is of top priority and the NWSS and the City of Denver could not find a path forward to have Stock Show and comply with the rules that govern gatherings of our size and rules of social distancing,” said Andrews. 

Stock Show management made the early decision due to the intense planning and expenses that go into the NWSS.

“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 Andrews, “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.” 

The 115th Stock Show was originally scheduled to be held Jan. 9-24, 2021.

The trade show is the largest western trade show in Colorado with nearly 900 booth spaces throughout the 90-acre grounds. The Stock Show draws over 700,000 attendees during the 16 days in January with record days seeing over 65,000 guests on site. The NWSS drives an economic impact of nearly 120 million dollars in January alone, according to a release sent out on Monday.

“We would like to thank our loyal stock show fans that are standing by us through this unprecedented time in history,” said Andrews. “We look forward to celebrating the return of Stock Show in 2022 with the grand opening of the historic Yards and Stockyards Event Center. Mark your calendars for January 8th through the 23rd, 2022,” said Andrews. 

Gov. Polis issued the following statement:

“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.”

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