One live event will be allowed to proceed this weekend at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds, but another has been canceled due to an ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases and the resulting state emergency order that remains in effect until at least next week.
The Bar J Wranglers concert scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21 at the fairgrounds event center will go on as planned, with some restrictions in place and a live-streaming option for those who can’t attend in person.
Meanwhile, the Cowboy Christmas event scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the same venue has been nixed.
Organizers of both events met last week with county officials and state regulators following Gov. Gary Herbert’s emergency order, which threw many planned events that include people gathering in large groups into limbo.
The concert is being allowed to proceed because it is a ticketed event. Since everyone attending will have a ticket, contact tracing will be much more feasible if it becomes necessary.
However, events like Cowboy Christmas that are open to anyone without a way of knowing who comes and goes have been deemed too risky by state and local officials, who are tasked with deciding which events can proceed at a time when COVID-19 cases locally and statewide are increasing at record-high levels.
Clint Munns, one of the organizers of Saturday’s concert benefiting the Madson Foundation, said organizers jumped through all the necessary hoops, including filling out a state template outlining how precautions including a mask requirement and social distancing guidelines will be in place and enforced.
“We know who’s going to be there, so they allowed it to go forward,” Munns said. “It was a scheduled, secured event from day one.”
All materials promoting the show have informed people of the requirement to wear facemasks, and in-person ticket sales are being limited to allow for social distancing, he added.
The main difference with this year’s Bar J Wranglers show is a live streaming option for those who don’t want to take on the potential risk of attending in person. ShowTix4U, the ticketing agent for the concert, is offering virtual ticket sales as well as general admission tickets for the live show. Those who buy a virtual ticket receive a link to the live stream and a code they must enter to access the show to stream from the comfort of home.
Munns said there has been a strong appetite in the community to maintain the 14-year tradition of having the Bar J Wranglers come to town. More than 30 sponsors signed on to help make it happen, including Nucor Steel, which offered to cover the cost of live streaming the show.
Tickets for Saturday’s concert can be purchased online at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/1409/?event=40529&date=110114. For more information, call (866) 967-8167.