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Dayton Rodeo cancelled

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert Briar Dittmer, of Runnells, IA, holds tight during the bareback competition at 2019's Dayton Rodeo.

DAYTON — The 2020 Annual Dayton Labor Day Pro Rodeo has been cancelled, according to an announcement Wednesday by the Dayton Rodeo Celebration Committee.

Citing the current economy and social distancing requirements “not likely to go away any time soon,” the committee said they were faced with the same difficult decision as many other events already cancelled this year around Webster County. The cancellation continues the trend of large event closures throughout the summer, dipping into September, as COVID-19 concerns grow even more pervasive with no peak to infections or deaths in sight around Iowa.

“The reality of being able to produce a successful rodeo is unlikely,” given the circumstances, the committee said in a press release.

The rodeo funded solely by local sponsors and rodeo fans said it did not want to burden sponsors during a difficult time given the anticipated lower attendance rate.

“The committee felt the financial risk was too great and will put future rodeos in jeopardy if all costs cannot be covered,” the release stated.

The committee will now invest their efforts into reinforcing the success of the 2021 rodeo.

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