Although the state’s largest rodeos will be canceled for this year, a change in the statewide health rules allowing for groups of up to 250 to gather in public will allow smaller rodeos and other events to proceed this summer, Gov. Mark Gordon said Wednesday.
Gordon, speaking during a news conference, announced the state’s public health rules will be relaxed as of Monday to allow for larger gatherings outside as long as social distancing guidelines are observed.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, state health rules limited public gatherings to fewer than 10, a number that was boosted to 25 on May 15.
With the further relaxation to allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 250, a number of events, such as small rodeos, graduations, farmers markets and weddings can be held, Gordon said.
“This is good for our communities and for our economy,” he said.
Gordon noted that the opening of Yellowstone National Park over the Memorial Day weekend drew more tourists back to Wyoming and said there is reason for optimism.
“Even though this day seems like it has gone a bit awry, I am optimistic about Wyoming’s future,” he said. “We are moving forward, we are going to see rodeos like the Hulett Rodeo. We’re already seeing more people out on the roads. We’re on our way back.”
Gordon also spoke briefly about a recent report that predicted the revenues for the state’s budget for the coming 2021-22 biennium could fall below earlier projections by up to $1.5 billion, saying the state cannot simply cut expenses to offset the losses.
“It clearly illustrates the financial challenges the state is facing,” he said. “It is clear that we cannot cut our way completely to solving this problem. So we’ve been and will continue to examine a number of ways to address this budget shortfall.”