Sunday in South Dakota: Black Hills Stock Show
Rapid City became home to cowboys, horses, and wild western action during this weekend’s 60th Annual Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. Some people might have hopped a plane for Florida uesterday, but I’m sorry, I was NOT going to miss the Stock Show. The stock show is the 2nd largest event in the state of South Dakota behind the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Did I mention there are cowboys & horses involved?!
During the Stock Show weekend the Old West comes to town when area ranchers and cowboys came to town to compete in ten different breeds of cattle shows, rodeos and 14 different horse events. Honestly, I swear there was something for everyone and all ages including concerts. In a town who’s motto is “Do Big Things” this stock show is a BIG thing! And I am already looking forward to next year when I have more time to browse the booths and see more shows. A person could buy everything from chaps to saddles to full length ranch coats. So interesting.
In 1958, members of the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee had a meeting at Rapid City Laundry to discuss a plan for a stock show that would incorporate rural lifestyles into the urban community of Rapid City. At that time only 12% of the population lived on farms or ranches and locals feared that someday ranchers would be an endangered species. With the hopes of protecting agriculture communities and lifestyles, planners made a commitment to preserve the western heritage in the state of South Dakota.
There was plenty of excitement, after all people needed something to do during the winter. Ranch wives shopped the vendors, along with demonstrations on cooking and sewing. The men were able to look at quality livestock and socialize with other people in the industry. Over 140 head of cattle were shown in the unheated buildings.
Today, the traditions of the Black Hills Stock Show continue with 10 breeds of cattle sales, a Truck Defender 2-day horse sale, the Hutchison Western Stallion Row along with over 300 vendors, and seminars to encourage both livestock producers, horse enthusiasts and the city folk to enjoy the western extravaganza.
I think ranchers are here to stay!