Carnival canceled as San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo trots ahead

Health and safety concerns cited as reason for cancellation

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo image. (Emma Chachere)

SAN ANTONIO – We may have changed calendars to 2021, but we haven’t been able to leave some of last year’s issues behind us yet. While an amended San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo will still go on, the carnival this year is officially canceled.

Lauren Sides, a spokesperson for the rodeo, said rodeo officials decided to forgo the carnival “with regard to the health and safety of patrons, exhibitors, athletes and volunteers.”

The Junior Livestock Show will continue as planned with exhibitors from throughout Texas coming to compete in the agricultural events.

These events are a major part of the rodeo for students which has awarded $223 million to Texas youth via scholarships, grants, endowments, western art, junior livestock auctions, show premiums and the calf scramble program since 1984.

A hefty 40% of scholarships are awarded through the livestock, horse show and junior contests.

“The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance, and we greatly appreciate the support and understanding of the community as we navigate these unprecedented times,” said rodeo executive director and CEO Cody Davenport. “We look forward to a successful Rodeo and livestock show in order to generate funds to educate future generations.”

More than 21,200 students have been benefited from scholarships from the San Antonio rodeo in 2020 alone, according to Sides, who said that an average of 550 new scholars are added to the program each year.

The cancellation of the carnival isn’t the only change for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. This year ticket sales were extremely limited as the venue went back to its roots at the Freeman Coliseum where it was originally held from 1950 to 2003 before moving to the AT&T Center after it was built in 2002.

The venue change is a one year experiment, according to Davenport. He has previously stated that it’s “not an ideal scenario” due to reduced ticket capacity but did lament that “a lot of other rodeos don’t have the luxury that we have with a second venue.”

Davenport, along with rodeo president Rusty Collier, said they wanted to give a platform to people who depend on the rodeo for income and feel fortunate that the rodeo didn’t have to be canceled.

The rodeo, livestock and horse show schedules for 2021 have been released are available below:

The Charreada event will also go on as planned on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. The rodeo is scheduled to take place from Feb. 11-28.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.