White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo commissioners decided last Tuesday to cancel the 2020 WMAT Fair and Rodeo.

“The very agonizing decison has been reached in the name of safety of White Mountain Apache people, rodeo contestants, fair-goers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors and suppliers,” said Cairo M. Clay, fair manager, in a written statement.

“The annual White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo is so much more than just a fair – it is a celebration of our people, our land, our resilience, our tradition, our rich history and everything we are so proud of as White Mountain Apaches. We understand the magnitude of disappointment you may be feeling. We feel it too. However, safety is our top priority, and that cannot be compromised under any circumstance. We have tremendously loyal fair-goers, vendors, partners and rodeo family. For that we are forever grateful, and our greatest responsibility is to ensure that the White Mountain Apache Tribe remains strong and resilient for future generations,” Clay said.

Clay said the Fair and Rodeo Commission and Fair Office staff will continue to analyze the data and prioritize the safety of all when making decisions about future events scheduled at the Whiteriver Fairgrounds.

However, all events at the Whiteriver Fairgrounds and Country Hall are canceled for the remainder of the year; or until Tribal restrictions are lifted and large events are able to safely resume. The Tribe will share updated information as it becomes available or changes are made.

At this time, the Fair and Rodeo office is closed until allowed to re-open by the Tribe’s “work from home” order. Messages can be left on the office voicemail by calling (928) 338-2492.

See you at the 2021 White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo on Sept.1-6, 2021.

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