While summer celebrations throughout Utah County, from Springville’s World Folkfest to America’s Freedom Festival in Provo, have been called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spanish Fork’s Fiesta Days Rodeo will take place this year as scheduled.

The city announced in a press release Wednesday that the Fiesta Days Rodeo, which is entering its 78th year, will be held as scheduled from July 20 to July 24.

“Deciding to continue with the Fiesta Days Rodeo this year has been a very deliberate and thoughtful process,” City Manager and Fiesta Days Rodeo Committee Member Seth Perrins said in the press release. “Since March, we have met regularly with staff, the Mayor and City Council, the rodeo committee, PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) representatives, and even county and state officials to determine how we could continue with the rodeo while honoring public health guidelines.”

Rodeo participants and attendees will be required to take some efforts to prevent potential spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks or other face coverings. Children under the age of 2 will not be required to wear face coverings.

“This eliminates the need for 6-foot distancing between non-family groups,” the city said in the press release.

Rodeo participants will be allowed to uncover their faces while they are competing but must be checked for COVID-19 symptoms beforehand. Face coverings will be made available for attendees who show up without one.

Spanish Fork Mayor Steve Leifson said in the press release that the city is “thrilled to have the Fiesta Days Rodeo this year.”

“It has been a priority to do whatever we can to make sure the rodeo could happen,” said Leifson. “In a time when there has been so much change, having our rodeo represents getting back to a more normal way of life.”

The Fiesta Days Committee is still evaluating whether other Fiesta Days events, including carnivals, parades and sidewalk sales, will take place this year. Updates on which Fiesta Days events will take place this year will be regularly posted at http://sffiestadays.com.

Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at crichards@heraldextra.com and 801-344-2599.

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