Tri-State Rodeo will still thrill in 2020

The Tri-State Rodeo Steering Committee has announced the 2020 Rodeo will go on this year, but all Pre-Rodeo events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Tri-State Rodeo

Steering committee nixes all pre-rodeo activities due to COVID pandemic concerns


FORT MADISON – The 2020 version of the Tri-State Rodeo will still be packed with action and world renowned entertainment, but the COVID pandemic has forced some temporary changes and plans.

According to a release sent out Tuesday morning, the Rodeo committee is canceling all Pre-Rodeo activities for this year and is working closely with local officials on implementing a comprehensive safety plan for the protection of all the individuals attending the Tri-State Rodeo against the spread of COVID-19. More details will be available soon.

“We are intending to conduct all of our planned traditional events beginning Wednesday September 9th starting with the Cinch Chute-Out, and allow all of our supporters and fans to participate at the level they feel comfortable,” said Tony Johnson, Chairman.

The Tri-State Rodeo Board of Directors and Operating Committee have faced several challenging decisions over the past several months. To put on the most successful event possible, the rodeo board has decided to postpone all pre-rodeo events Sept 5-8, until 2021. This includes the Fareway pancake breakfast, Fareway chili supper and The Hy-Vee Pork Dinner. This will also include the special kids rodeo, Lil Spurs Rodeo, Lil Miss Rodeo & All-Around Cowboy contest, and the school’s out roundup.

“The goal by doing this is to not put a strain and burden on the committee members and volunteers during these difficult times. We have decided to put all of our focus on making the rodeo as safe and successful as we can and by postponing the pre-rodeo events until 2021, this allows us to be better prepared to make the 2020 event as safe as possible. We will continue to have four great nights of rodeo and entertainment along with the Grand Rodeo Parade on Saturday morning,” Johnson said.

The Tri-State Rodeo is looking forward to September with the focus of the protection of everyone’s health, continuing to provide economic impact for our community and to preserve the 73-year history of the rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa.

The entertainment lineup this year includes country music up-and-comer HARDY on Thursday September 10. We are throwing it back to the 90’s on Friday with country legends Mark Chesnutt and David Lee Murphy both performing. On Saturday night country music star Trace Adkins will be on the main stage! Each night we will have entertainment in the Bud Light Stockyard as well. Wednesday and Thursday Joe Stamm Band performs and Stumptown will be here on Friday and Saturday nights. Music on the main stage starts immediately after the rodeo ends each night.
Tickets for the Tri-State Rodeo are on sale now and available at, tickets can also be purchased by visiting or calling the rodeo box office.

In 1948 C.E. (Eddie) Richards brought the Rodeo to the Tri-State area
and every year since Fort Madison is home to the best rodeo of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Great Lake Circuit. Every year thousands of people flock to Fort Madison area starting Labor Day weekend for a week of action-packed entertainment and events. Since 2000 the Tri-State Rodeo has been named as one of the nation’s top five large outdoor rodeos and continues to rank first among rodeos in the Great Lakes Circuit and in 2001 ranked 43rd among the nation’s more than 700 sanctioned PRCA events. No other rodeo east of Kansas City, Missouri ranked higher.

The Tri-State Rodeo continues to attract the nation’s top cowboys, with competition spread over four nights the first week in September and big-name musicians headlining the Thursday – Saturday night performances.
Find out more about the rodeo and the concert by visiting or by following them on Facebook and Instagram both @fmtristaterodeo.

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