Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo busy planning for 2021 after cancellation due to COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was cut short this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers said planning is well underway for 2021 and safety will be top of mind.

The rodeo has begun to explain how it and its 35,000-plus volunteers will welcome back fans to NRG Park in a safe and healthy way.

While the rodeo said it will post health and safety measures for 2021 once finalized, it is giving some insight into its multi-pronged approach.

Rodeo performers react to RodeoHouston cancellation

Multiple task forces



The rodeo has created a Health and Well-Being Task Force that is responsible for developing, reviewing and recommending health and wellness policies for the community, including guests, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, partners, athletes and staff.

Local health officials, medical and veterinary experts, and NRG Park and rodeo leadership are among those on the task force, the rodeo said.

Work with medical experts and local officials



The rodeo said it has been working with health experts and local officials as it plans for 2021 to make sure it is following best practices.

Engage community stakeholders



Stakeholders include those from the public and private sector and local community leaders in multiple industries to get their input on the issues that could impact the event.

Collaborate with local sports teams and venues



The rodeo said it's part of an initiative called Houston Clean, which are safety guidelines for venues and events such as social distancing, temperature checks, enhanced cleaning and requiring the use of face coverings, gloves and sanitizing stations.

Solicit community feedback



But the public has been able to weigh in, too. Fans and ticket buyers were given a survey. More than 6,600 responses were received, with 4,400 of those coming from rodeo fans.

By the way, the survey is still available if you wish to take it.

NRG Park employees were also surveyed. The results, along with guidance from medical professionals and local leaders, will help influence the rodeo's 2021 health and safety measures, the organization said.

#STAYSAFEFORRODEO pledge



The pledge is meant to encourage the community to do its part by wearing a mask, following social distancing and local, state and national health officials' guidelines.

You can follow this link to take the #STAYSAFEFORRODEO pledge.

Check this page on the rodeo's website for ongoing updates.

The rodeo, which is one of the largest in the world, shut down March 11, along with its entertainment division RodeoHouston. The closure came after Judge Lina Hidalgo and Mayor Sylvester Turner declared a health emergency, impacting events.

MORE: RodeoHouston announces 2021 cook-off dates!

The event's 2021 dates are set for March 2-21.

The video is from a previous, but related report about the rodeo's closure.

Mayor and Harris County judge set record straight on decision to cancel rodeo
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Here is how Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner responded to questions of whether he and other leaders knew about a person infected by COVID-19 days before the rodeo abruptly closed.



Leftover rodeo food is donated to Houston Food Bank
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FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Donations included thousands of dollars' worth of items including bread, produce, dairy and meats.



Houston Livestock Show participants to receive help from Gringo's Mexican Restaurants
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The restaurant chain plans to help students who missed out on showing their animals after the show's cancellation due to coronavirus concerns.



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Vendors at the rodeo were brought to tears when they were told the rodeo was closing early.

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