Roundup Committee decision Thursday

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BELLE FOURCHE — Black Hills Roundup committee members are expected to meet Thursday to determine the fate of this year’s event, set for June 30 through July 4.

“We’re going to move ahead just so we’re ready if we do commit moving forward with the Roundup,” committee chairman Keith Anderson said Tuesday. He added the event will more than likely move forward, but the committee will stay in touch with Gov. Kristi Noem and Belle Fourche city leaders.

Committee members will receive input from Belle Fourche Mayor Gloria Landphere and Butte County commissioners. Anderson said Landphere will visit with Noem for her thoughts.

“As of right now, talking with the board and people in town, we’re hoping it happens,” Anderson said in describing the Roundup.

This year’s preparation is somewhat similar to that of last year, but there naturally has been a big difference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So many things are on hold for the last 2 ½ to three months. We’re at a pause for so long that it’s catch-up time,” Anderson said. He added the committee has many things on its plate with the street dance, carnival, rodeo, parade, fireworks, and other activities.

Anderson said the Roundup will implement a number of special steps to help combat the virus. They include:

Hand-washing stations throughout the grounds;

Disinfecting the grandstands after each rodeo performance; and

Having a longer parade route so spectators have more room for social distancing.

Signs outlining these protocols will be prominently displayed on the grounds.

Anderson said items like ticket sales, concession stand gatherings, and livestock issues are not finalized. That includes the number of tickets that will be available.

Digital tickets made their debut in 2019, and Anderson said online ticket sales would be stressed this year.  He added the carnival may leave out a few rides this year and regularly sanitize them.

People who do not feel comfortable being around large crowds have the choice of not attending, according to Anderson. “If you’re not worried about it, come on down,” he said.

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