BRAWLEY — The 64th annual Cattle Call Rodeo is a go, but just in a typically late 2020-type of way — live, with no crowd in attendance, and completely online.
In accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations established by the Imperial County Public Health Department and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the rodeo will be held in a spectator-less Cattle Call Arena on Nov. 14 and 15, according to information in an Oct. 21 statement from the Cattle Call Rodeo Committee.
The important thing is that the rodeo will go own as it has for more than 60 years, and due to the impacts of COVID, making the rodeo tradition happen this year could not have been realized without the many sponsorships and donations, according to the committee.
“It’s always humbling when you ask our community to step up and help, and it is so good to see how important this celebration is to our community,” committee chair Carson Kalin stated in the release. “Our sponsors have shown us that with their generosity.”
This year’s rodeo will be livestreamed on Cowboy Channel Plus, which is an app that can be downloaded on phones, tablets, laptops and computers at www.cowboychannelplus.com
Earlier this year, the rodeo committee faced a decision on whether to cancel the rodeo given the impacts of the pandemic. However, over the past couple of months as the county began to experience a reduction in coronavirus cases, the rodeo committee determined that under current guidelines, it would be possible to hold the rodeo but to do so without spectators, according to the committee’s statement.
Kalin stated the committee determined that if proper safety guidelines were followed, the rodeo should continue to be held as an important Imperial Valley tradition. He said the committee reached out to Imperial County and the city of Brawley, and both gave their support to hold the rodeo under strict safety parameters.
However, the committee’s release stated, the success of the rodeo each year largely comes from ticket sales along with sponsorships. The combined funds enable the rodeo to be held each year while also supplying the necessary funds for the rodeo committee to maintain and upgrade Cattle Call Park, which the committee does annually in partnership with Brawley.
To hold the rodeo this year without the support of ticket sales would have depleted funds set aside for the park and maintenance. In the end, despite not being able to offer seating to sponsors or hold the annual dinner to honor sponsors, local businesses and organizations still came forward with support.
“The donations made the rodeo possible while also ensuring there would continue to be funds to make improvements at Cattle Call Park and maintain the park for the community,” Kalin stated. “Without that support, it would have been a lot tougher to make this year’s rodeo a reality.”
Kalin added, “It means a lot to us that the community wants to see this tradition continue.”