The organizers of the annual Wagon Train event in Chatsworth are expecting big crowds, despite concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wagon Train comes out of the chute on Friday, with a horse show (at 7 p.m.) and dance (at 9 p.m.) at the Saddle Club. Wagon Train will continue through July 6.
“We hope people will come out and enjoy themselves or stay home if they’re sick,” said longtime Wagon Train enthusiast Mike Sitton.
Now 57, Sitton has been attending Wagon Train since he was a youngster.
“My grandparents were involved with it and my parents were, too,” Sitton said.
Sitton loves to see old friends who attend.
“I think the best thing is the friendships we’ve made over the years,” he said. “There are people who come year after year; for them it’s like a big family. They look forward to it.”
The multi-day event will feature the full slate of activities, including a range of rodeo events, nightly dances and a parade through downtown Chatsworth, starting at 6 p.m. on July 3. Admission pins cost $12 and are good for the whole week.
Murray County Saddle Club President Gabe Carrell said he expects a big turnout.
“I think we’ll have a great crowd,” Carrell said. “I’m hoping the community will come out and support us.”
Carrell said the Saddle Club has hosted several well-attended youth rodeo events in recent weeks and things went smoothly. He believes there is enough seating for people to maintain safe spacing when watching events. He said there will be lines marked off at the concession stands to encourage people to keep a safe distance.
“People on horses are spread out naturally,” Carrell said. “We think people will be able to watch the events safely.”
Carrell said Saddle Club members have been getting the site ready for weeks.
“The campsite suffered a little damage from storms, but we’ve fixed most of that.” Carrell said. “We’ve got some touching up to do.”
“Our campsites are rented already and we’re hoping for a really big crowd,” he said.
More information about Wagon Train can be found at the Murray County Saddle Club page on Facebook.