Organizers for the Clayton Rodeo are optimistic they will have a rodeo July 24th and 25th at the Clayton Community Fairgrounds.
“Basically right now, we’re planning it,” said Jan Strong, the rodeo organizer. “We have our supporters lined up and the stock contractor is on board.”
Strong said that because the rodeo is held at the Clayton Community Fairgrounds located in Stevens County, she anticipates the county will move into Phase 4 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan in late June. Phase 4 would allow for group gatherings of more than 50 people.
The rodeo sees several hundred participants, volunteers and spectators, Strong said.
“We’re sitting out there in limbo right now, but we’re planning it,” she confirmed. “If Stevens County moves into Phase 4, we’ll be a go.”
Strong and her husband Dwayne Strong have served on the Clayton Community Fair Board for 25 years. She said the Clayton Rodeo has a long tradition of serving the Deer Park community. Revenue from the rodeo helps fund the Clayton Community Fair, local vendors, and service groups.
If the rodeo is cancelled, “There is a trickle down effect.”
She added that local rodeos bring out the best in small, rural communities. “To me it’s an All-American tradition,” she said. “Nothing is better than when the grand entry goes and a girl comes out carrying the American flag.”
For now, rodeo planning is underway. If the event does have to be cancelled, Strong said that decision won’t be made until July.