Even I, who owns no boots, am ready for the good times that take place during South Dakota’s second largest event – the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo®. Here’s a fun fact for you, South Dakota’s official sport is rodeo. That means we know how to do them right and this event is proof of that. For ten days you can witness nonstop rodeo action, be a part of a beer festival and shop over 300 vendors. Those are just a few in a long list of activities, so I’m not joking when I say everyone can find something they’ll enjoy at this event.  

Cowboy riding a horse during a Black Hills Stock Show® event
Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo®

Last year I attended the Ranch Rodeo for the first time at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo®, which is one of the most popular events. And even though I have family in rural South Dakota who own livestock and farm, I personally know nothing about it. This was maybe my third time attending a rodeo, but I do know enough to realize that this sport showcases an astonishing amount of athleticism that can only be appreciated watching it in person. The events of the Ranch Rodeo demonstrate that fully. One that I was impressed with was called Trailer Loading. During this event, two separate teams compete at the same time to round up a group of cattle and get them into a trailer. It was so much fun to watch and I found myself rooting for people I didn’t even know.

The Boots and Beer Festival is another popular event that takes place during the Stock Show. If you don’t know already, South Dakota has a pretty impressive brewery scene and this is a great place to try the majority of them under one roof! Sample beer from Rapid City and Black Hills breweries, along with some eastern South Dakota breweries to find your regional favorite. Participants of this festival get to enjoy great beverages along with live music in an atmosphere different than the normal beer festival.

Bronc riding event at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo®
Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo®

Another event I am looking forward to attending again this year is the Broncs for Breakfast! This event starts at 8am with you guessed it, breakfast! Start your day off right with biscuits and gravy then settle in to watch 32 Ranch Bronc Riders as they attempt a thrilling eight second ride. These riders can hang on with only one hand on either the saddle horn, cantle or rope strap and only the top eight get to move on. It’s an extreme sport that captivates its audience.

So, if you have cowboy boots, pack them and head to Rapid City. If you don’t have any boots, come anyway! The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo® is ten days of fun for everyone. Learn more about each event by visiting the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo’s website!