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Questions remain about how July 4 signature events will go forward
City Council considers resolution of support for ‘World’s Oldest Rodeo’

Pepe’s Painting sponsored this large equestrian group during the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade through the streets of downtown Prescott on Saturday, July 6, 2019.  (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Pepe’s Painting sponsored this large equestrian group during the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade through the streets of downtown Prescott on Saturday, July 6, 2019. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

As Prescott’s big Fourth of July week approaches, a number of decisions still remain about how the “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” the Prescott Frontier Days Parade, and the annual fireworks display will be conducted during the era of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, June 9, the Prescott City Council will consider a resolution of support for the rodeo that is scheduled for June 29 to July 5.

The council meeting will take place at 3 p.m., Tuesday, at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

J.C. Trujillo, general manager for Prescott Frontier Days, is expected to be on hand to give a presentation.

A city memo notes that the resolution is intended to show support “for the continued operation and conducting of the ‘World’s Oldest Rodeo’ … subject to taking appropriate CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended precautions.”

The memo points out that Gov. Doug Ducey has expressed support for the rodeo going forward, and Yavapai County Community Health Department Director Leslie Horton “has stated that the operation and conducting of the rodeo and parade can be done safety without increasing the likelihood of additional COVID-19 infections.”

Still, Prescott Community Outreach Manager John Heiney notes that a number of decisions are expected in the next week or so about how the city and the rodeo would adjust to the recommended precautions over the COVID pandemic.

“There is still the question of attendance. They’re still at a decision point,” Heiney said of how the attendance would be handled for the rodeo and parade — each of which typically draw thousands of people.

In recent weeks, Heiney said officials with the rodeo, city, and Yavapai County have been discussing how to proceed. “We want to follow the governor’s guidelines in promoting the event and putting it on safely,” he said.

To prepare for the evolving situation, he said, “There will be a lot of contingencies. We ask people to be patient right now.”

Along with the rodeo’s decisions on how it will handle attendance, Heiney said officials have discussed how best to deal with the crowds that gather along the streets of downtown Prescott for the parade.

In addition, the City of Prescott will be making a decision on how to conduct its annual July 4 fireworks display.

Like last year, the event organizer Eagle Management and Events, LLC is planning to conduct the 2020 firework display at Watson Lake, Prescott Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes said.

Both Heiney and Baynes said the fireworks display is expected to go forward, but there is still a question about the activities that usually go along with the fireworks display, such as water slides, food stands, and bounce houses.

“I think the fireworks will go on, but it might just be fireworks,” Heiney said.

Baynes said he expects a decision on how to proceed with the fireworks and July 4 celebration by early this week.

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