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19 May, 2021

Rodeo makes comeback

THE State Government’s recent easing of social distancing regulations has paved the way for bullriding and event fans across the region to receive the best possible mid-year present – the Mareeba Rodeo is back on and will be held in the coming months – albeit in a reduced fashion.

By Michael Warren

Mareeba Rodeo Association president Peter Brown and Vice president Ron Blakeney continue to work through logistics after confirmation a reduced event will be held on July 10.

THE State Government’s recent easing of social distancing regulations has paved the way for bullriding and event fans across the region to receive the best possible mid-year present – the Mareeba Rodeo is back on and will be held in the coming months – albeit in a reduced fashion. 

Mareeba Rodeo was previously cancelled in February because of what officials announced at the time was “a lack of funds, manpower and infrastructure required to run the rodeo within Queensland Health regulations”. 

However, the State Government’s relaxation of restrictions around the amount of people allowed to gather in outdoor public spaces in Queensland on April 15 fast-tracked the Rodeo Association to overturn its earlier decision and proceed with delivering a one-day COVID compliant event on July 10. 

“The easing of social distancing restrictions has allowed us to put on a one-day event in the coming months,” Association president Peter Brown told The Express

“In order to do so it’s imperative we do everything by the book, regarding following COVID safe regulations, so there will be a few changes. 

“At this stage there will still be a full-blown rodeo on the Saturday. The Saturday and Saturday night has always been the pinnacle of our event and that will be the same this time. “We’ll still hold the cabaret after the bullriding, but on this occasion there will be no down town parade in Mareeba. 

 “We’re also still determining what entertainment we can potentially put on, on the Friday night. 

“That may include a band, or perhaps even a parade of some sort at the Rodeo grounds. “Regarding the rides or carnival side of things, again, that’s something we continue to work through and have discussions about, like I say, we need to ensure we’re doing everything by the book and following all event rules and State Government COVID safety protocols."

The Mareeba Rodeo and Festival is one of the most popular events in the region, regularly attracting more than 14,000 fans over the two days. 

Confirmed to date is a full one day rodeo program, cabaret with live music and camping. Not happening in 2021 is the State of Origin and down town street parade. 

 Friday night entertainment and confirmation of potential show rides and other festival activities are to be determined.  

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