The High Desert Stampede is back after a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tilden Hooper of Carthage, Texas, spoke with Central Oregon Daily’s Emily Kirk before the rodeo Thursday evening.
He’s a professional bareback rider competing at the event.
In 2020, organizers were forced to cancel the event just two weeks before it was supposed to happen in March.
This year, it’s one of the first major events to return to the First Interstate Bank Center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.
Tickets are sold out for the multi-day rodeo.
The crowd size was limited to 25 percent of its normal capacity; about 1,000 tickets were allocated.
Face masks are required and the event has sanitizing stations placed throughout the indoor arena.
“We’re encouraging people to wear masks and facial coverings,” Chairman of the High Desert Stampede, Denis Fast, said Thursday. “We’re doing the best we can, now we need the people that come to the rodeo to do the best they can.”
The air inside is also being circulated eight times per hour.
Major athletes will travel to Central Oregon to compete in this year’s elite competition.
If you want to watch the events, head to highdesertstampede.com.