CHEYENNE, Wyo. (CBS4) – The 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo will give tens of thousands of people the chance to enjoy the sport, music and food that was sidelined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the event will offer new features to help prevent the spread of the virus.

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“We wanted to be able to put on Cheyenne Frontier Days, and we wanted to put it on in its entirety,” said Jimmy Dean Siler, General Chairman of the event.

The ten-day party will take place at the end of July. Because it is largely outdoors, and vaccines are more widely administered, health experts say they believe everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the event while staying healthy.

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“A lot of planning has gone in to this,” said Shelly Schwedhelm, Executive Director of Emergency Management at University of Nebraska.

Schwedhelm and Chris Kratochvil are just two health experts who have teamed up with CFD to promote safe gatherings.

“COVID is not over, the pandemic is not over,” Schwedhelm warned. “Now that cases are down that doesn’t mean risks go away, they are just much more managed.”

“The beautiful thing about being here is there is a lot of space, spread those people out,” Kratochvil said.

Attendees will be given opportunities to space themselves away from busy crowds, wash their hands frequently, and wear a mask if they choose. People who are not vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask as well.

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“They don’t necessarily have to be in the crowd. We will have an area big enough they can spread out,” Siler said.

“Those who are vaccinated really are able to enjoy the full benefits of the rodeo,” Schwedhelm said.

Those involved with the planning process said the thousands of volunteers who make the event possible, and guests, can all experience the “Daddy of them all” without a hitch if everyone simply makes an effort to promote good health.

“There are several things we can do to mitigate the risk and limit the risk,” said Kratochvil, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research at University of Nebraska. “This certainly can be a safe event. And, each of us have a personal responsibility to get vaccinated.”

“I think we are going to be able to put on a very safe event,” Siler said.

Those interested in attending the event still have time to get their vaccinations and be fully vaccinated by the first day of the rodeo. For tickets and more information, visit cfdrodeo.com.

Dillon Thomas