Annual Events

Throughout the year, Rapid City has a wide variety of events to match all interests, budgets and lifestyles. Below are the major annual events that are too amazing to miss!

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo®

January – February

Wild western action takes center stage during the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo®. It’s the second largest event in South Dakota and is filled with different livestock, horse and rodeo events along with country music concerts. 

Summer Nights

May - September

Make space for the music! Every Thursday night, Downtown Rapid City blocks off 7th Street between Main and St. Joseph Street for some free summer fun. Happy Hour begins at 5pm and the band starts at 6pm.

Mount Rushmore Lighting Ceremony

May - September

Brighten up your vacation with an inspiring event that illuminates Mount Rushmore! The ceremony takes place every night of the summer starting the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and ending at the end of September. 

Crazy Horse Memorial® Volksmarch

June & October

The bi-annual Volksmarch is a 6.2-mile hike that takes visitors up to the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. The event takes place in the spring and fall and is the only time the public can get this close to the carving without paying for a special tour. 



Bring your beer loving friends to Rapid City to compete in the games of Bierbörse. There’s keg bowling, stein holding, cornhole, and you guessed it – lots and lots of beer. If you choose not to compete you can still enjoy the fun of the beer stock exchange. 

Native POP (People of the Plains)


This event is a gathering of arts and culture to encourage interculture dialogue by sharing cultures from the tribal nations of the Great Plains. It’s a free and family-friendly event that includes a fine art show, fashion show, and more!

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


Meet up with more than 500,000 riders, concert enthusiasts, and street-food fanatics for ten full days and nights of fun. This event is one of the largest events in South Dakota, so we recommend booking accommodations up to a year in advance.

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival


Get a glimpse of the wild west as horseback riders roundup over 1,400 bison. This event helps keep the herd population of Custer State Park in balance since the park can only sustain a certain amount of wildlife.

The Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival


Celebrate the changing of the seasons at this pumpkin-themed event! We’re talking pumpkin catapults, pumpkin weigh-off, pumpkin painting and more. Come take part in the pumpkin fun and shop from over 50 different local vendors.

Black Hills Powwow


The Black Hills Powwow is a three-day celebration of Native American culture that includes singing, dancing, drumming, artwork and more all under one roof at The Monument. If you’re looking to experience a premiere American Indian cultural event in the United States, this is the best event to attend. 

Storybook Island Christmas Nights of Light

November – December

Stroll through an 8-acre children’s theme park covered in miles of twinkling lights. Join the kids on the train, take a spin on the carousel and enjoy some hot chocolate or cider as you tour the park filled with the sounds of holiday music.