For the first time in almost a hundred years, the Calgary Stampede has been cancelled.
Stampede President Dana Peers made the difficult decision public Thursday afternoon.
"We are unable to host the 2020 edition of the Calgary Stampede," Peers says. "As you can imagine it is very difficult to be here today to share this announcement. As a community celebration, the cancellation of our event comes with community and public health and safety in front of mind."
He says the focus will now be put on fall, winter and spring events at Stampede Park and the 2021 Stampede.
Peers also says he understands the economic reach the summer event has.
"It is important to recognize the many local businesses that are a part of the greater Stampede. From restaurants, bars and hotels and retailers, rideshare and taxi drivers who support western culture throughout our city, we know how much the loss of this year will mean financially for them," Peers says
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says everyone understands that this is the right thing to do but it's still difficult to hear that the Stampede won't go ahead this year.
"Stampede is such an important part of what we are as a community and it's hard for me to even imagine what a July without the Stampede looks like," the Mayor says. "But this year, with this risk, we simply cannot continue to do that."
The last time the Stampede was cancelled was 1923.