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Health & Wellness
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Updated March 22, 2023

Any number of Health & Wellness issues may occur affecting your attendance at the Emerald City Hoedown, or may affect the hoedown itself, ranging from simple cold and flu to COVID-19 or Monkeypox.

General Wellness

We want you to be in top form during the hoedown weekend.  If in the days before the hoedown, you come down with seasonal illnesses like cold and flu, you may want to consider whether attending the Emerald City Hoedown is in the best interests of everyone involved.  If you are unable to attend, contact us at to let us know and we will see what accommodations we can make for you.

During the weekend itself, it can be tempting to push yourself hard, to get in every last dance possible.  Be sure to pace yourself, get adequate hydration and nutrition — it’s not like we don’t provide food at this event! — and ensure that you get some good sleep during the weekend.  We don’t want you missing out on things because you push too hard, or to have you go home sick!


The 2020 Emerald City Hoedown was one of the earliest events to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when government prohibitions on public gatherings prevented us from holding the event, just 2 weeks before our scheduled weekend.  The 2021 hoedown also had to be canceled due to the pandemic, but in 2022, we were able to resume the Emerald City Hoedown, requiring vaccinations and embracing those who preferred to continue masking.

For the 2023 Emerald City Hoedown, we expect to continue to require proof of vaccination, although now that we have had vaccines widely available for over a year, plus booster shots for some (but not all) groups, the exact details of what we will require is not yet settled.  We encourage all potential attendees to get vaccinated and boosted to the fullest level available to them, and we will update specific requirements for the hoedown on this page as the event approaches.

At the current time (March 2023), masking during Rain Country’s weekly dance events is optional but welcome, with perhaps 20% of attendees continuing to wear masks each week.  If federal, state, or local guidelines require a mask mandate for the hoedown, we will expect hoedown attendees to comply.

Vaccination (and masks) protect not only you, but also those most vulnerable in our dance community.


CURRENT REQUIREMENTS (updated March 22, 2023):

  • Vaccination — REQUIRED.  (You will be required to submit proof of vaccination as part of your registration, or at check-in at the hoedown.)
  • Booster(s) — PREFERRED, unless you want to perform a daily COVID test.
  • Daily Negative COVID Test — REQUIRED, unless participant has had a booster shot within the year before Hoedown (since April 1, 2022) and submitted proof.   Details on handling such tests will be available at Registration.

Initial vaccination series is 2 shots of Pfizer or Moderna, or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson, Astra-Zeneca, or other one-shot vaccinations.  Additional boosters per CDC guidelines.


As of Thursday, August 4, the US government declared Monkeypox to be a public health emergency, with US cases doubling roughly weekly at this stage.  If you are unfamiliar with Monkeypox, find more details here:

At the current time, Monkeypox is primarily transmitted in the US and Canada via men-seeking-men sexual interactions, but it is not technically a sexually transmitted disease, able to be transmitted via any prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. This typically means contact with Monkeypox lesions (sores), or prolonged contact with clothing which has had such contact with the skin.  How “prolonged” is not yet known, but a two-step or swing dances features more than just a handshake, and a weekend of dances, perhaps more than that.

Vaccines for smallpox (Monkeypox is related and covered by the same vaccine) are available in limited amounts at this time, but still not in all areas of the country, with a ramp of of production and distribution under way.  Distribution in many cities is limited to those most at risk — primarily male-identified people with multiple sex partners — with limited availability to others.  We expect this to become available in greater amounts and to more people over the next few months.

(The vaccine is also a two-stage shot, with the second shot to be given at least 4 weeks after the first one.  It is not yet known how second shots will be administered, given the demand for first shots still being so high.)

We do not yet know what vaccination requirements for Monkeypox will be come the hoedown.  We will make updates on this page as things change.


CURRENT REQUIREMENTS (updated August 10, 2022):

  • Vaccination — STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for those in high risk groups, ENCOURAGED for anyone able to get the shots

Vaccination cards like with COVID are not being given in all areas, so it is unknown yet how proof of vaccination will be handled.

Code of Conduct

All dancers at the Emerald City Hoedown are expected to abide by Rain Country’s Code of Conduct.  That includes not shaming or harassing someone else for their masking preferences, which also means not trying to convince them to change their behaviors regarding masks.  We are all family here, so be kind and gentle with one another.