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23 March, 2021

Mareeba Rodeo canceled again.

One of the biggest events on the Mareeba calendar has been cancelled for the second time in two years. The Annual Mareeba Rodeo will not go ahead in 2021 due to COVID restrictions and an increase in COVID related costs.

By Phil Brandel

Mareeba Rodeo Association Secretary Cecilia Clark and President Peter Brown out front of the 2019 sign which was last the last time the Mareeba Rodeo took place

One of the biggest events on the Mareeba calendar has been cancelled for the second time in two years. The Annual Mareeba Rodeo will not go ahead in 2021 due to COVID restrictions and an increase in COVID related costs.

The decision was made last week and President of the Mareeba Rodeo Association Peter Brown said it did not make financial sense to run the rodeo this year.

“Due to COVID and all the new restrictions that have been put in place by the Queensland Government we can’t put on a socially safe event and still run at a profit,” he said.

“It will be impossible for us to impose 1.5-metre social distancing.

“We were also advised that we would not be able to do our parade in town.”

Mr Brown said there were now extra costs involved due to COVID.

“We would normally get about 14,000 people through the gate, but as part of the new seating plans, we could only have between 4000 and 6000 people,” he said.

“We would also need more volunteers to chaperone people to their seats, we would need extra security and extra cleaning staff, it all adds up.

“We also needed extra bar staff and lanes and more fencing and the price just kept going up and up, it got to the point where it was no longer viable.”

Even though Mareeba Rodeo has been cancelled some of the smaller rodeos across Queensland are still going ahead, which Mr Brown said was due to their numbers.

“A lot of the smaller rodeos only go for one day, and any event under 1500 people does not incur the same COVID restrictions,” he said.

“Once you go over 1500 you need a full-blown COVID plan, which needs to be cleared by Queensland health.

“With us being a 2-day event and getting over 10,000 people the risks and costs are much greater.”

 Mr Brown said that the Great Northern Bull ride was still coming to Mareeba, but numbers would have to be restricted as well.

“It will be capped at 1500 people but that will need to include volunteers and competitors as well,” he said.

 


 

 


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