The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo — a tradition for eight decades — is a bust this year, canceled because of concerns of spreading COVID-19, the event's Board of Directors announced Thursday.

The 80th edition of the popular rodeo, which attracts thousands over a few days, will be held July 14-17, 2021, at the Norris Penrose Event Center.

The rodeo, scheduled for July 8-11, had already been pushed back to Aug. 19-22 "in an effort to better ensure safety of contestants fans and volunteers" during the coronavirus pandemic, Nikki Wall, the rodeo's public relations director, said in an email to The Gazette at the time.

The only other time the rodeo didn't take place since its inception in 1937 was during World War II, the rodeo said in a news release.

After resuming following the war, the organizers started donating proceeds in 1946 to support local military troops and their families.

"We take that commitment seriously and will continue to work with and serve our military community to the very best of our ability," Mike McCoy, the rodeo's board president, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the rodeo's Board of Directors unanimously voted in a meeting to cancel the 2020 event — citing safety and health concerns of fans and competitors among others, the organization said in the news release.

For information about ticket refunds, contact the Norris Penrose Event Center at 719-635-1101 or email


Chhun Sun is the editorial assistant of the four Pikes Peak Newspapers. A Thailand-born Cambodian-American, he joined The Gazette's staff in April 2015 — covering everything from public safety to sports and outdoors to local/state politics.

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