Jammin’ Lamb canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

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A lamb dish from the 2017 Jammin’ Lamb Festival.

Final decision on whether to go ahead with annual Meeker Classic will be made Aug. 1

The Meeker Classic board of directors met last week and made the difficult decision to cancel the Jammin’ Lamb Festival this year, and are holding off on making a decision about the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials until Aug. 1.

This would have been the third year for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, where chefs prepare lamb entrees for competition. The event has grown in popularity every year since its inception.

“It was too risky getting that many people together in such a small area,” said Trial Director Maym Cunningham. “Additionally, the health and safety regulations for preparing food in regards to COVID-19 would be really hard to meet for this year.”

2020 would be the 34th annual Meeker Classic, with more than 100 handler/dog teams and more than 300 volunteers gathering at Ute Park for five days the week after Labor Day to watch the competition, shop from vendors, view demonstrations, and more. Cunningham said via email that the board’s biggest concern about the Meeker Classic is that contestants and spectators travel from all over the country to attend the event. 

“We can’t really justify hosting a trial if we can’t get the spectators. It’s so hard because we want to ensure the safety and well-being of our community, but the economic implications are so tough as well,” Cunningham said. 

The board will wait to make a final decision until August. 

By NIKI TURNER | editor@ht1885.com