Dillon Jaycees 64th annual rodeo starts this weekend with COVID-19 safety precautions

The Beaverhead County Fairgrounds in Dillon, Montana.

DILLON- Instead of the almost 8,000 spectators coming through Dillon for “Montana’s Biggest Weekend,” the 64th annual rodeo will limit capacity to 1,500 spectators per performance to allow for social distancing.

Seating areas will be roped off by 10-50 person areas and each area will be color-coded and separated by six feet with caution tape and signage.

The Dillon Jaycees worked with the Beaverhead County Health Department to abide by Gov. Steve Bullock’s social distancing guidelines and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s COVID-19 policy for the two-day event.

Added hand-washing stations and hand sanitization stations were placed throughout the entire facility.

Jason Schumacher, the 2020 rodeo chairman, said he hopes the event can give the community a much-needed sense of normalcy all while being safe.

“If you have any kind of underlying health conditions or are not feeling up… please stay home but again people needed something to do and we’re here to provide that for them, maybe a little break from the COVID world and whatever else is going on life to try and get a little bit of normalcy here.”

This is the Dillon Jaycees biggest fundraiser of the year and all funds go right back towards helping the community through their scholarships and other community help events.

Schumacher said he hopes the event can give local businesses that much needed economic boost before the weather turns cold.

“You know it was very important for our community being a small community this is our weekend, there is a lot of the businesses around here, this is what gets them through the winter,” Schumacher said. “We’ve seen kind of how COVID is taking effect on especially the small businesses.”

Schumacher said they canceled their annual concert, the carnival, and all food vendors so the empty midway alley will be the most different looking part of the rodeo.

Gates open at 6 p.m. on Saturday and they have about 3,000 disposable masks for anyone who walks in without one.

Schumacher said on Thursday morning that they have less than 200 tickets left for Saturday night and just under 700 for Sunday night.

More information and how to get tickets to “Montana’s Biggest Weekend” can be found here.

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