Strawberry Days Rodeo canceled |

Strawberry Days Rodeo canceled

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, the annual Strawberry Days Rodeo has been canceled this summer. The Strawberry Days Rodeo Committee announced its decision on Wednesday, saying the rising cost of hiring a stock contractor, the lack of a qualified organization to help the committee coordinate and to benefit from the event and the outdated condition of the arena by Glenwood Springs airport.

In the past, the rodeo had seen its share of success in the annual festival. It was sanctioned by the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association and was even honored with a “Best Large-Purse Rodeo” award in 2007.

The first factor going into the decision to cancel the two-day event was the $2,000 increase in the cost of hiring a stock contractor.

“Price increases are to be expected, but our increases are especially high because of the poor condition of the rodeo arena,” said Strawberry Rodeo Committee Co-Chairman Smokey Torres in a press release. “The chances of one of the stock contractor’s animals getting injured are extremely high considering the neglected structure.”

As for the rodeo’s organization, another Co-Chairman Leslie Torres said that too many things needed to be done before the event that simply weren’t getting done.

The failing condition of the arena sealed the decision. Many hours are spent by volunteers in the weeks prior to the event repairing fences, gates and other equipment, removing trash, painting and doing general maintenance to the facility.

Even though people help make it as nice as they can, the arena is just not stable or safe enough for animals or spectators anymore.

“Last year at the Friday night performance, a gate, which was already in bad shape, was destroyed by one of the roughstock,” Smokey Torres said. “Had it not been for Custom Steel Structures and some of our volunteers working all night to repair the gate, there wouldn’t have been a Saturday night performance. That gate has been around as long as I’ve been involved with rodeos at this arena and probably long before that.”

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