The Victoria Livestock Show dodged the coronavirus arriving last year in Texas. Despite fewer public events in 2021, the 75th annual show will also dodge closures and cancellations this year.
A new category of livestock being shown.
Public events like the carnival, barbecue cookoff, show buddies for children with special needs, karaoke, opening ceremony, coloring contest, wiener dog races, live music, beer garden, parade, county fair and concessions will not be held because of COVID-19 precautions.
Additionally, the Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St., will have a maximum capacity of 400 people and only allow for buyers and those showing livestock inside the center's dome, said returning livestock show treasurer Shelly Marbach.
The 2020 Victoria Livestock Show occurred before coronavirus closures and cancellations began.
"We were so lucky last year, without missing a lick," said livestock show auction chair Sara Perry.
Other major Texas livestock shows either could not be completed or did not happen at all last year. Even into 2021, some of those larger livestock shows and rodeos are still being pushed back, like in Houston, or will have limited events, like in Austin and San Antonio.
"It's just been a very, very tough year," Marbach said. "The city is just doing what they need to, to be safe."
In addition to coronavirus precautions, Marbach said it has been a tough year for 4-H programs like the Aloe club, which will have its first in-person meeting in a few months.
"Especially because it's the 75th year, it stinks we couldn't do it in style," said livestock show marketing chair Robin Janecka.
New to the livestock show will be a bull category.
This will be the first time for bulls at the annual livestock show, Janecka said, even though the livestock show began with only beef livestock originally.
In charge of the new category will be bulls superintendent Susan Hempel.
She said she and a few other people had brought up the idea in the past, but that the livestock show decided to organize it for this first time in 2021.
"We're just going to try it and see how it goes," Hempel said.
Nine bulls are entered into the new category, she said, with participants ranging in age from 8 to 18 — and they are all excited about showing their bulls.
Passing the tradition of showing livestock from one generation to the next, Hempel said her father showed during the 1940s, she showed in the 1970s and now her son continues the tradition in Victoria.
One of the bull participants, her 12-year-old son Derek Hempel, will show a bull for the first time.
Taking care of and showing bulls is different than other cattle like heifers or steers, because they have more of an attitude, Hempel said.
"Hopefully they will behave at the show," she said of the livestock that are often required to wear a nose ring at livestock shows to better control them.