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80th Sisters Rodeo canceled for second straight year

(Update: Adding formal announcement)

'All of a sudden, everything was going in the wrong direction'

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Yet again, the 80th Sisters Rodeo – and its many fans and the community -- will have to wait another year, as the rodeo board voted unanimously Tuesday night to cancel “The Biggest Little Show in the World” for a second straight year, due to COVID-19 public health restrictions.

The June 9-13 rodeo dates had been set over a month ago – but “all of a sudden, everything was going in the wrong direction,” board Vice President Rodger Dwight told NewsChannel 21.

Dwight said they’d been working for 2-3 months with state government and health officials amid the ups and downs of risk levels and the line, and in the end, “we were just not able to meet all the metrics.”

“We needed two months” of solid preparation once it was a go, he said, and they stretched that as far as they could before making the call, which “definitely was unanimous.”

“We had three big hurdles to get over,” Dwight said. “One was trying to get as many people in there as we could, then the spacing, and finally the (level) of risk on the risk chart.”

Deschutes County was moved back to the “High Risk” level from “Moderate Risk” as of last Friday, again reducing capacity for events and businesses.

The decision was no doubt a difficult one, due to "the economic impact to the community and everything else," Dwight said.

The Sisters Rodeo issued this news release Wednesday morning:


Recent COVID-19 spikes combined with State of Oregon Health Authority Regulations prove too much for the “Biggest Little Show in the World.”

Due to the unfortunate rise in COVID-19 cases and the restrictions enforced by local & state government agencies, the Sisters Rodeo Association (SRA) Board of Directors made a unanimous decision on April 13, 2021, to cancel the 2021 Sisters Rodeo and subsequent events for the second year in a row. 

The Directors have worked diligently with State and County officials for the past several weeks and looked at the situation from all angles including feedback from community businesses, fellow rodeo associations, stock contractors and sponsors. The Sisters Rodeo Association would like to thank the Deschutes County Commissioners for their hard work and support during this process.

“We were not able to meet all of the standards and protocols established by the State of Oregon’s Health Authority. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County put our five-day event in the high-risk category. With the limitations placed on events for capacity, we had to make our decision based on our financial capabilities to try again next year [in 2022] to have a full capacity rodeo,” said SRA President Curt Kallburg. Postponing the rodeo to a later date in 2021 was not an option. Due to other obligations, the rodeo’s stock contractor, announcers, and entertainment/contracted personnel would be unable to all get to Sisters at the same time.  All tickets for the 2021 rodeo that have been pre-sold will automatically rollover to the equivalent dates for the 2022 Sisters Rodeo.

Rodeo Directors are in the process of notifying members, sponsors, contractors, vendors, and media of the 2021 cancellation. Although there is a chance the virus may be under more control by June,  the safety of  the volunteers, members, and the possible exposure they would be subjected to while working at the rodeo is the prime concern. The rodeo is also obligated to notify the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) of the cancellation in a timely manner to allow contestants and contractors to be informed and able to make other arrangements.

“With heavy hearts, the decision had to be made,” said SRA Public Relations Director, Amorita Anstett. “The Sisters Rodeo will survive and will come back next year. We ask our fans and community to stay with us during these challenging times and hope, that come the second week of June in 2022 we will be ready to rodeo and once again present the ‘Biggest Little Show in the World.’” 

Coronavirus / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



    1. Good? You reaction to this story proves your worth. Many people a small businesses rely on this rodeo for seasonal revenue. Some small businesses may end up closing due to this lack of revenue. And you sit there and say GOOD! Maybe you should try to be of some benefit to you species.

        1. So who’s dying ? The elderly- the geriatric ill-sick-weak-unhealthy ?? Well guess what… “That’s Life”… You start to die the day you are born… spend your time wisely… and it sure as hell ain’t here taking weak and pathetic pot shots at locals from the confines of your dreary dungeon that you call home. if I look at your posting times- the frequency… you don’t work- you have no social life… you just mooch off Uncle Sam and all the freebies the Demokant party can offer… trust me ham-hoc… That Ain’t Livin’ !

  1. So why is there no mention about the “financial losses” that Sisters will have to suffer through in this story ? This remains a common thread through all these Z21 stories- they simply don’t want to attach a dollar figure to the damage being done to the state’s economy… when Oregonians realize the “trillions” of dollars lost to this fake hoax- they’ll be shaken to their core… how could this have happened … over fewer than than 50 deaths since this all began over a year ago- 3 a month- anything to get President Trump out of office… are you freakin’ kidding me ???

    1. How many businesses are reliant on the Sister’s Rodeo to survive? Suffer? What are you talking about? Fake hoax? Oh, you are mentally ill. Barney, why are you posting this person’s nonsense? A hoax? You should be ashamed of yourself from posting this sick person’s mental issues.

        1. scientist? So, I’m curious. Just what area of science are you a a scientist? Or are you just using the name scientist as more of you fodder?

      1. It is an important part of the discussion that is not working being discussed in terms of financial impacts from moving the county from one level to the next higher. Are businesses in Sisters built on a single event to pay all the bills? Probably not, but like most businesses in tourism driven region like Central Oregon, the loss of a large event that fills coffers of the business (and btw, the state tax coffers) to remain in business during lean tourism months ( which now has been over a year) is important to keep schools operating, roads improvements completed and wildfire suppression crews ready. So yes, the inability of the state to codify the economic impacts of constantly changing statistics is an important part of the story. Signed, vaccinated and still keeping the mask on in businesses.

      2. Don’t ya’ll just love it when the local libby loo’s get so flustered and angry- that in their attempt at Kancel Kulture- they inadvertently provide evidence to support the argument they are so spittin’ mad about ??? This is classic… I post- “why is there no mention about the “financial losses” that Sisters will have to suffer through”… Glutton fires back- with the same damn question… “How many businesses are reliant on the Sister’s Rodeo to survive?”… There ya Gluttonous one… answer yer own question… “what is the financial importance to small businesses in Sisters when an event like this (and all others) close year after year ? I’m betting in the millions ! And they will never recover ! Shops that have closed- dreams shattered- children who have watched the Government come in and destroy their parents livelihoods…. will never recover ! Put that in your “mental issue” pipe and smoke it !

        1. Jeez man, your post reads like an redneck lunatic that only stories get written about. Throughout your stupid, factless ridden vomit, you basically have admitted that whatever the loss of human life is, you’re absolutely ok with killing a few more people as long as you make a few bucks.

          No wonder stupid low-IQ bootlickers like yourself cheer on a 0.5% tax break for the middle class for 4 years, and a permanent 3% tax break for anyone making $400,000 or more. That’s right, your idol signed that bill. So next time you decide to get your panties up in a bunch over dollars and cents, at least call a spade a spade. Your idol has spent more money causing more rampant inflation, and given the largest tax breaks to rich people since Reagan.

          And all you can wrap your tiny, insignificant little brain around is how measures being taken to prevent further loss of human life impact a place you provably do not live.

          A special place in hell is reserved for stupid scum like you.

          1. Once again “Factless” and his childish tirades reign supreme over the actual data- from CNN September 2020… “CNN) Median US household income was $68,700 in 2019, the highest since 1967, the first year records were kept, according to inflation-adjusted data released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday.” “That’s up 6.8% from the year before, among the biggest jumps on record”… “The poverty rate fell to 10.5% last year, the lowest since records started in 1959, Census said. That’s down about 1.3 percentage points in 2018. Some 34 million people were in poverty, 4.2 million fewer than the year before.” !!! AND THIS IS WHY THE DEMOKANTS KANNED THE EKONOMY !!!

        2. And since I know how allergic you are to reading anything outside of anymore, since you have literally a mushy goo of mass as an excuse for a brain, here is an article with actual cited sources that explains how little the 0.1% are paying now thanks to your buddy, Trump.

    2. You’re the case study of the dangers of free speech and the difficult decisions platform owners face.

      Do the platform owners embrace “free speech” even though your only use for free speech is to perpetuate lies, propaganda, and pure fantasies that you come up with in your head? What if your words infect other feeble minded fools like yourself? Is it the platforms responsibility to protect other low-IQ individuals similar to yourself by not allowing you to perpetuate lies?

      Or does a platform just embrace you and abdicate their social responsibility to intelligent discourse (not that it necessarily happens here anyways)?

      You are quite the conundrum, for sure. Allow you to perpetuate lies, propaganda and other baseless conspiracies, or attempt to protect society from the erosion of civil discourse that complete animals like you are possibly willfully attempting to erode?

  2. A horrible situation, but was inevitable based on the inability of the state to get the vaccination process correctly done with the ever changing priorities. But what is not clear from the data driving the change in Deschutes County risk going back up a level is how many are not residents of the county. As Jefferson, Crook and even eastern Marion counties have limited medical facilities and many on the Central Oregon region come to Bend fir medical services), how many of the new cases are from people who are getting tested in Deschutes County as opposed to their county of residence. Likewise, how many of those cases from visitors from the Valley or even out of state, whose testing in this county is creating false numbers in their own county of residency. This lack of information can in fact be driving a false positive for the county and drive a very negative impact on businesses, schools and other key components of keeping the county moving forward.

  3. Rodeo shouldn’t happen anyway. It’s just a place for MAGA’s to gather and plan capitol storming events. It should be illegal for MAGA’s to assemble in any situation, but in a gathering of beer, animal abuse and structural racism and sexism, it’s a breeding ground for lofty talk of insurrection.

    1. You sound like someone who likes to be ruled by communists. This is what the woke left has done to you liberals….made you angry and militant!

        1. Gee Smedley- does “war” bother you ? Then you obviously supported President Trump and his hands off approach to never-ending global conflicts… all of which Little Lyin’ Joey Biden reversed his first month in office as he set out to bomb Syria- Iraq- handed the US oil and gas industry back to OPEC so they could re-ignite their regional conflicts ! Glad to see you on board with your efforts to rein in the “weapons of war” !

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