PAWHUSKA, Okla. — During a summer when many events are canceled or postponed, the world’s largest amateur rodeo is still taking place in Green Country.
The Cavalcade Rodeo is a summer tradition going back 74 years. It's held on nearly 200 acres at the Osage County Fairgrounds in Pawhuska. Chairman Jeff Bute said, this year, they aren’t letting the coronavirus stop it.
“We have four and five generations of whose families have attended this thing," Bute said.
Cavalcade is all about tradition and family, especially for Taylor White and her sister Tessa. Taylor is a former cavalcade queen while Tessa is competing this year. It gives them something to bond over and a sense of normalcy during a global pandemic.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to get to come and have a normal week of something that some of us have done every year for as long as we can remember," Taylor said.
There are some changes this year.
The indoor queen’s barbecue event is canceled. They are still holding all other outdoor rodeo events and other activities such as the street dance in downtown Pawhuska.
They’re also holding the outdoor concerts that run Wednesday through Saturday but are limiting tickets to 1,000 people per night and are putting up a barricade near the stage.
“Space is everything," Bute said. "And I think that’s what’s been preached to us throughout this entire thing is you know, social distance, social distance.”
Cavalcade is also an important event for the vendors, including local boutiques that took a hit when they had to close due to the pandemic.
“Getting to come here today is just a step in the right direction to continue to invest in our business and just watch it grow and invest back in the community," said Emily Harness, owner of the House of the South boutique.
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