Editorial: Hats off to the Black Hills Roundup

Pioneer cartoon by Alex Portal

From its surprising inaugural success to the world-class event it has become today, the Black Hills Roundup means Fourth of July to many people in and around the Black Hills region.

Organizers say strong roots in the western tradition - and a powerful patriotism - spurred the community to hold the first Black Hills Roundup in 1918, as a fundraiser for the Red Cross and the American boys fighting World War I. 

It was so successful, attracting nearly 15,000 people and raising $20,000, that the town decided to gather the next year and add even more events.

So why is this year the 100th and not the 101st year for the event. Seems the event took a year off during World War II.

Regardless of the number, it is always a good time to give a shout-out to all the volunteers who make the Roundup possible. 

Visitors may overlook the details that go into making the Roundup run like a well-oiled machine. But organizers revealed it takes more than 150 committed, caring and professional volunteers to make it look flawless.

We’ve always been amazed that they barely roll up the bunting and take down the signs for the current year’s event and committee members are onto planning for the next year. 

Thankfully, others beyond the Black Hills have noticed the efforts of the Belle Fourche community and its highly-successful rodeo.

The Black Hills Roundup was named the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s best Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the year in 2018. The Roundup had been nominated one time before, in 2007, but this is the first time the rodeo took home the big honor. 

To receive the nomination and ultimate win, the cowboy contestants in the PRCA cast ballots for their favorite rodeos.

The Roundup Grounds also was named Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Badlands Circuit Ground of the Year in 2018.    

To top it all off, the Black Hills Roundup was inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame.                                                                                       

The longevity of the Black Hills Roundup is something of which to be proud. Roundup Committee Chairman Clay Crago may have said it best. 

“To carry on the rodeo and the cowboy tradition for 100 years is just phenomenal.”

We agree Clay. And here’s to another 100.

Congratulations Belle Fourche!

Editorial Board,

Black Hills Pioneer

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