Marchman: Sheriff’s Rodeo going virtual as COVID surges 

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A professional rider attempts to rope a calf at 2017’s Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo will be a bit different this year. Held annually at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center, the event is going virtual as COVID-19 numbers continue to spike across the area.  

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said Monday that the full details of this year’s rodeo, along with details on the annual Special Needs Rodeo, will be announced during a press conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. at his office. 

Cullman County Commissioner Gary Marchman spoke to The Tribune Monday, saying, “He (Gentry) came to us, and he made the decision to go a different route this year due to COVID. I believe he made the right decision as he is putting the health and well-being of the public first.”

Marchman continued, “I hate this for everyone, but we need to keep people safe. They looked at options to socially distance inside at the rodeo, but it just wasn’t going to work.”

When asked if the rodeo has been canceled, Marchman stated, “No, it’s not been canceled, but it will have a different look and feel. There won’t be any spectators to my knowledge, and the rodeo will be live streamed and possibly broadcast on TV.”

The Special Needs Rodeo is always a big draw each year. Marchman said he believes that event will be virtual as well.

“From what I was told, the Special Needs Rodeo will be live streamed to schools and to those classes with special needs children,” he said. “COVID is here and we just have to protect everyone, even if that means holding the events online.”

Both events are normally slated for early December. Look for more details Tuesday at 10 a.m. at www.Facebook.com/CullmanTribune.

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