Stampede decision expected soon, officials hopeful

·2 min read

The details of if and how the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede will roll out this year are still unclear but the general manager of city’s largest celebration is hopeful it will happen.

Last year saw the MHE&S cancelled for the first time in nearly 75 years but Kara Brake says a decision is imminent on whether that unfortunate feat will be repeated.

“Our board of directors are meeting Wednesday,” said Brake, who expects a final decision to be released by the end of next week at the latest.

But planning for the event will be operating on a tight timeline.

MHE&S usually starts its planning cycle shortly after the end of the last annual event held during the last week of July.

With two months left before the traditional start, “there is a lot of unknowns,” said Brake.

She said discussions are continuing with health officials on how the event can proceed in a safe fashion, with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association about how and who will be able to participate and with midway provider West Coast Amusement regarding rides.

“We’re on short time frames,” said Brake, adding the likelihood of lifting restrictions “does give us hope.”

But there are also concerns if the MHE&S goes ahead, whether there will be people interested in attending.

“We’re hopeful people come out to the grounds,” said Brake.

If it does go ahead, she says there will be extra precautions taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

In an April 5 CPRA release, prior to the latest round of third-wave restrictions being imposed, discussions between provincial health officials and the organization produced an outline for provincial rodeos.

Under that timeline, all restrictions for those events would be lifted by the end of July.

Under this week’s reopening plan, that’s been moved up to the beginning of July, conditional on a 70 per cent vaccination rate province-wide.

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, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News