CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — First, Buc Days 2020 was postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic began ramping up in Corpus Christi in April of last year.
Then, it was rescheduled for the fall before ultimately being canceled altogether.
"I was pretty upset," frequent Buc Days participant Lindsey Hutchison said. "I like the celebration. I like to enjoy the celebration of Corpus."
She can now celebrate once again along with the thousands of other people the yearly carnival, parade, rodeo and more draws in when Buc Days 2021 kicks off April 29 and runs through May 9.
But keeping the attendance numbers at safe limits during the novel coronavirus pandemic will be part of the party.
"It’s going to be safe and socially distanced," Buccaneer Commission President and CEO Johnny Philipello said. "We’re having a lot of changes to the event obviously because of COVID."
One attraction undergoing big changes is the annual parade.
Traditionally, families will mark off seating sections along the parade route with chalk, some even camping out ahead of the revelry that includes marching bands and lighted floats.
The bands and floats get to stay, but with the majority of the parade taking place in front of a reduced crowd inside the American Bank Center, staking out seats days in advance is out.
That will likely disappoint some people.
"I think a lot of people like the whole camping out — the anticipation of getting ready for that parade, you know, and finding their spots," Hutchison said.
Gone also this year are post-rodeo concerts, although bull riding and other competitions will take place.
“We can put people in seats six feet apart enjoying the event comfortably with their group," Philipello said. "What we don’t think we can do is control a crowd that’s ready to get up and dance and party after the rodeo’s over for the concerts."
While the subtractions for safety are notable, there is one major addition.
The Wings Over South Texas air show featuring the elite Blue Angels have been added to the Buc Days lineup.
When taking everything into consideration, Hutchison and others are excited that one of Corpus Christi's premier celebrations is back on.
"It's something to do here in Corpus, and it’s actually a big thing,” her husband Trever Hutchison said.
“I think recently with COVID and everything going on, it would mean a great deal to the community considering how everyone’s been all cooped-up inside," fellow Corpus Christi resident Victoria Gonzales said.