It’s time to hang it up, cowboys — at least for 2021 — because RodeoHouston has been canceled again due to the pandemic.

The 2020 RodeoHouston festivities were canceled last March after the pandemic struck, leaving heartbroken fans, vendors and contestants at a loss for words.

This year’s rodeo was re-scheudled for a delayed start of May 4, but with COVID-19 cases continuing to surge, city officials feel it is just not safe to have the mass public event at all.

“While we were optimistic that moving our Rodeo to May would provide a better opportunity to host our annual community event that Rodeo fans have come to love and expect, unfortunately, it has become evident that the current health situation has not improved to the degree necessary to host our event,” Rodeo President and CEO Chris Boleman said. “While this is an extremely heartbreaking decision for our Rodeo volunteers and the larger Rodeo community, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the health and well-being of our community.”

But there is some good news, the Junior Livestock and Horse Show competitions will still take place in March, but will be held as private events.

The Junior Market Auctions and Champion Wine Auction will be held in May, but also as private events, following all state and local health and safety guidelines.

Opening the grounds to the general public would be too risky.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement:

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the most significant events held in Houston every year. It is part of our western heritage, draws guests from around the world, and provides more than a $220 million boost to the local economy and valuable scholarships to young people pursuing higher education.

“I commend the HLSR for maintaining its commitment to award more than $21 million in scholarships this year to help students attend colleges and universities despite the cancellation.

“I know that canceling the 2021 Rodeo was a difficult decision for President and CEO Chris Boleman and the thousands of dedicated volunteers, vendors, workers, and competitors who make the show successful. I support their decision and look forward to a bigger Houston Rodeo in 2022.”

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Related content: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo returning May 2021