HOUSTON - Family traditions will have to skip a year now that Houston Rodeo officials have canceled their 2021 season.
For Assistant Trail Boss Elizabeth Cook of Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston, the news of the cancelation was anticipated but it does come as a shock.
"I mean it’s just upsetting," said Cook. "Very frustrating because you make all these plans and now it’s not going to happen."
Scott Sullivan, Vice President of the Houston Rodeo tells FOX 26, last year there were over 3,000 participants in the trial ride. Many of whom plan their entire year around this event.
"It's a family deal and many generations ride and continue to ride," said Sullivan.
Cook said the cancelation of the rodeo does make her a little emotional. She says it’s an event that brings people together with friends that you don’t get see too often.
"A lot of people that’s the only time you get to see them, when you meet up on this weeklong trail ride," said Cook.
Elizabeth has been participating in the trail ride for the past 30 years.
As we are a year into this pandemic, it continues to hurt Houston’s culture and economy.
The last unhampered Houston rodeo in 2019 had a total economic impact of $227 million, according to Rodeo officials, $13 million to the total fiscal impact.
The rodeo also brought in 3,694 direct jobs and just over 5,000 jobs, which supported the Greater Houston in 2019.
Jackie Daniels, CFO of POParazzi’s Popcorn near the stadium, tells FOX 26, the uncertainty over the rodeo this year has already impacted business.
"COVID has a way of just not stopping, it’s like that energizer bunny," said Daniels. "This is a time when people vacation, they have planned their spring break to revolve around coming to the rodeo and then businesses like us that are over here benefit."