GRANGEVILLE – The region’s biggest July 4 holiday celebration, Grangeville Border Days, is still a go, with activities and the three-day rodeo still planned to occur.
And that rodeo? With coronavirus concerns resulting in cancellation of competing events, Grangeville’s rodeo is forecasted to be a record year in contestant draw.
“There may be some compliances we have to deal with, but we will get those taken care of, in order to put on a good show,” said Megan Peterson, Border Days administrative committee chair.
Grangeville Border Days is set for July 2-4, with the rodeo tentatively set to run each day.
Peterson said the committee has been in contact with the Idaho Cowboys Association (ICA), which has approved its sanction for sponsoring the rodeo.
Events are set to go as normal. However, Peterson said there may be a possibility the three-day parade will be cut down to just one, held July 4. Determination on this is pending and will be announced later.
“We are 100 percent going to have Border Days,” Peterson said, “unless the state or city shuts us down due to the extension of stage four.”
Holding this event – this year will be the 109th – is important for the committee, according to Peterson, not only for the tradition, but more importantly for participants in what has been, to date, a chaotic year.
“We want to give people an outing, and we know that social distancing is something on everyone’s mind,” she said. “Going into a big crowd after the shutdown orders can be scary, and we hope that people will be respectful of one another.”
While rodeo attendance is an uncertainty, in any year, this time around, “contestant-wise, we think we’re going to have one of our biggest years,” Peterson said.
July 4 is considered the “Cowboy’s Christmas,’ due to the number of rodeos during the holiday and the millions in prize money up for grabs. Coronavirus concerns have resulted in multiple rodeo cancellations this year, and a number of these around July 4. As of last week, ICA listed three cancellations for events at Hailey, and in Vale and Yoncalla, Ore.
“With the shutdowns due to coronavirus, we foresee we’ll have a lot of contestants, and a lot of slack,” she said, and an increase in rough stock. “A lot of pro rodeos have shut down, so we’re probably going to get some on the lower end of the pro rodeo here to get some time in on an animal. We’ve got so much that was shut down, they’ll be itching to get to a rodeo to ride or do whatever they do.”