TBRU Founders Criticized For Not Canceling Event Amid Growing Coronavirus Fears

Texas Bear Round Up
Credit: Felix Moo

UPDATE: Texas Bear Round Up is canceled. The organizers posted an update in the morning hours of Thursday, March 13, on Facebook:

Guests,

Dallas County has issued an emergency public health declaration with constraints on events and public gatherings over 500 people beginning at 11am on Friday, March 13, 2020. To comply with this declaration, the Dallas Bears Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to cancel Texas Bear Round-Up XXV.

Shortly the Hotel will announce the favorable actions they are taking regarding cancellations and early-check out changes.

We never thought we would see this situation based on previous information and knowledge. This is unchartered waters for us as a small non-profit organization. There are still many unknown details and many logistics to be worked out. It will take us weeks to sift through all the details to be able to answer the many questions you may have. We will communicate directly to registered attendees in the coming weeks.

We love and appreciate you and wish everyone health and safety. We have resolve and hope to be able to continue in the future and see you at TBRU 26.

Let us resolve to be the Bear Family that we are and support one another and uplift our community and the world at this time. As a community, we have weathered crises and injustice – let us rise to be a voice of hope, love and community. @dallasbears

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Texas Bear Round Up, one of the biggest bear events in the world, began yesterday on Thursday, March 12 amid growing concerns that it should be canceled due to the growing Coronavirus concerns. 

TBRU’s official Facebook page has been littered with comments days ahead of it beginning with attendees and fans concerned about going due to the city of Dallas being in a public state of emergency as there are five confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) there.

“I’m a RN on the frontlines of the illness and as an attendee of many TBRU’s of the past, it is rather irresponsible to continue with the event this year,” one person wrote. “It is each individuals choice to continue with life as usual but with our community at an at risk community, i.e. elderly bears, diabetics, and other immune compromised guests, continuing the event is risky.”

Others referenced local events in Texas being canceled in relation to TBRU. “Sorry, when events like SXSW and the Houston Rodeo are cancelled, that should be sufficient news to at least postpone the event as you are putting folks in danger and the people they interact with when they get home. Irresponsible of the organizers.” Several major award shows and gatherings, including the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City, have also been shut down in recent days. 

The owners of their Facebook page released a statement on Friday, March 13, regarding the growing concern over if the event should continue or not. “Bears and friends. The Dallas Bears and TBRU are aware of the current situation and advisement from Dallas county. We are meeting with the hotel and county officials in the morning at 9am to find out details. Attendees and guests will be updated via email following that meeting. This is all the information we have at this time.”

It comes at a difficult time for TBRU and everyone involved as 2020 marks its 25th anniversary. The event hosts thousands of bears and bear aficionados for several days of fun food, entertainment, relaxation and a feeling of brotherhood amongst its community. The gathering also raises tons of money for local charities in the process from its popular party called BearDance. 

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