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Celebration implementing Covid-19 protocols



The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration continues to make preparations for the upcoming 82nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The show will be held August 26 – September 5, 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Celebration will be implementing safety measures to protect the health of its employees, exhibitors and spectators. The Celebration asks for your patience and understanding as these protocols are implemented. The Celebration will follow all local, state and national policies as well as implement many of those recommended protocols from the CDC and Agriculture Department from Tennessee.

All ushers, ticket handlers, concession and security personnel at the Celebration will be required to wear masks and those handling money, tickets and food will be required to wear gloves as well.  All tickets booths have plexiglass windows installed as well as barn 10.  All Celebration employees will have their temperature taken each day prior to reporting for work.  Center ring staff will be provided masks and required to wear them when proper social distancing can’t be practiced.  

The Celebration has worked with box seat holders with concerns to move those parties to locations that have more room and open space around them. Anyone that would like to move their box seat for this year’s show to a less crowded location can do so and if the new box is less expensive they will be refunded the difference. Those choosing to move this year will not lose the right to their original box in future years.

The Celebration will have a cleaning crew each night that will disinfect all of the chairs used in the box seats. We ask that you leave your chair in the sitting position and not fold the chair and lean against the railing. The maintenance crew will also disinfect those chairs the following morning as well as all seats used in Calsonic Arena for the daytime performances. Ushers will have disinfectant spray bottles and will spray again in the evening prior to the show.

There will be 12 stations inside Maverick Arena with sanitizer and disinfectant if spectators want to disinfect their chairs themselves or spectators can bring their own disinfectant wipes.  There will also be designated crews to clean bathrooms during each performance.

The Celebration will open the Blue Ribbon Circle Club during the show this year but food service will be different than in previous years. This year servers will serve the food instead of club members serving themselves.  In addition, the Celebration will have an outdoor Blue Ribbon Circle Club under a tent in the front lawn, sponsored by Rural 1st.  Bar service will be available outside on the first Friday and Saturday evening and all three championship nights the second weekend. The outdoor area will be open each night but on nights that bar service isn’t available outside members can go inside to get a drink and then return outside.

Unfortunately, the Celebration has made the decision to cancel the corporate sponsor party in 2020. Out of an abundance of caution, The Celebration will forego the annual event and simply have enhanced food options on the first Saturday night when the party would normally occur.  In addition, all after show entertainment, live music, DJs, Karaoke, etc. will be prohibited in an effort to prevent any large gathering where social distancing can’t be maintained. Barn parties are such a huge part of the festive atmosphere of our show but current times make it prudent to have a one-year prohibition on these types of events.

The Celebration will not require spectators to wear masks however masks are strongly recommended to be used while spectators are on the showgrounds and in the arenas.  If the local or state government were to mandate masks in Bedford County or the state of Tennessee the Celebration will comply with those mandates.

All custodians of horses going through inspection will be required to wear a mask or cloth facial covering. There will be a zero-tolerance policy for any custodian bringing a horse through inspection without a mask and the entry will not be inspected until the custodian has a facial covering.

The Celebration has also canceled the barn decorating contest this year and will not host the pre-show hat luncheon. There will be “hat night” the first Saturday night just as in previous years. The Celebration Shootout Golf Tournament will be held on Sunday August 30th.  Golfers can reserve their spots by calling Karen Inman at 205-238-1126.

The Celebration will have Veterans Night on Friday September 4th however this year The Celebration will not gather the veterans together prior to the show. Instead each veteran will still be given free parking, tickets and drink coupons and then given a flag and The Celebration will recognize each of those by branch during the show.  Veterans can reserve their tickets by calling The Celebration office.

The Celebration worship service will also be conducted in the outdoor arena on Sunday morning August 30th.  The worship service will be conducted by Grace Baptist Church and Pastor Bobby McGee. Grace Baptist Church will also provide biscuits, doughnuts, juice and coffee to those attending the worship service.

The changing environment that has surrounded Covid-19 will be monitored and if any changes are necessary the Celebration will make those and inform every one of those changes.

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