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Rodeo Still Serving Dinners Despite Cancellation

Chef Bruce Gustafson, left, and rodeo Chairman Tom Atwell and his wife Sharon check out the wood that will be used to cook the beef for the traditional beef barbecue being offered as a drive-thru event Aug. 8-9 despite the postponement of this year’s rodeo. Photo by Paul Cooley

GERRY — Although the 76th annual Gerry Rodeo has been postponed until next summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rodeo fans can still enjoy the traditional rodeo dinner via a takeout event at the rodeo grounds on Saturday, Aug. 8 and Sunday, Aug. 9.

The menu for the dinners will consist of beef cooked outdoors for eight hours over wood fires and topped with the secret recipe barbecue sauce, accompanied by deep-fried potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, and cottage cheese. The cost is $15, slightly higher than usual due to the recent increase of beef prices.

On Saturday, dinners may be picked up between 4-7 p.m. with a limit of 600 dinners that day. Sunday hours are from noon to 3 p.m. or until sold out. Everyone should remain in their cars as dinners will be brought to each vehicle. Payment will be made through cash or credit card. Checks will not be accepted. Pick-ups are done on a first-come, first-served basis. However, anyone ordering 10 or more dinners are asked to reserve them by phone at 985-4847

The staff preparing and serving the dinners will be observing the protocols required by the state and county guidelines to protect everyone’s health, and a permit to hold this event has been issued by the Chautauqua County Health Department.

Rodeo Committee chairman Tom Atwell said that all proceeds will go to the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department to help to fill the monetary gap created by the rodeo not being held this summer. He added, ” Everyone involved in the rodeo — volunteers, fans, contestants, and particularly the Rodeo Committee — are deeply saddened by the absence of the rodeo after 75 consecutive years of bringing professional rodeo to Western New York, but that the Rodeo Committee had to choice but to postpone the event with the many restrictions imposed by the governor, including limits on crowd size and quarantine rules for contestants coming from other states.”

He said that plans are already being made to make next summer’s rodeo “bigger and better” than ever with that event scheduled for Aug. 4-7. Fans can keep up with further news throughout the year on the rodeo website, www.gerryrodeo.org.

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