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National Western Stock Show canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The National Western Stock Show, held in Denver since 1906, has officially been postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19 — yet another annual event canceled due to the global pandemic.

Why It Matters

This was supposed to be the 115th NWSS. The Western Stock Show Association Board of Directors and NWSS management decided it was unsafe for the NWSS to go on this year with COVID-19 still impacting Colorado


Chairman Doug Jones of the WSSA expressed in a press release that, although it was a difficult decision, the stock show would eventually make a comeback.

“The iconic Western events and traditions we all know and love will be back in 2022, stronger than ever,” Jones said.

This year’s cancellation will hurt Denver’s tourism economy, when the City has a projected $226 million shortfall in the budget this year, according to 9News. The NWSS is the largest agricultural show in Colorado — bringing in 700,000 people and holding about 900 booths — and brings in $120 million, according to an article from The Denver Post. The article also notes that, according to the NWSS, the show “generates more than $6 million in state and local tax revenues.”

What Now?

The press release notes that COVID-19 “does not allow for the stock show to host the annual event and comply with the health and safety guidelines” that keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It also stated there is too much uncertainty surrounding the environment to allow the stock show to happen without “compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors and the public at large.”

“I’m disappointed that the show couldn’t occur this time due to the pandemic, but I respect the National Western Stock Show’s decision and know it was a difficult one to make,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement, according to CBS Denver. “I look forward to being able to attend an even bigger and better stock show the following year.”

Tyler Meguire can be reached at or on Twitter @TMeguire.

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