The value of tradition during the Days of ‘76 is important for organizers

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Jul. 24, 2022 at 3:28 PM MDT
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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) - The wild west has never really left the historic town of Deadwood, which started as a gold rush town, the gambling, bars and other western activities have never disappeared. And with the old west activities in Deadwood, comes the Days of ‘76 celebrating its 100th year.

It’s one hundred years of tradition... celebrating the people who came to the gold-filled area in 1876. This year the event will be seven days long and feature parades, traditional Native American dances, and cowboys and cowgirls competing at the Days of ‘76 Rodeo.

The Days of ‘76 Rodeo Committee Chairman, Chris Roberts says, “There are a lot of events going on, on upper Main Street. So, throughout town, everybody is celebrating the event, so there’s really something for everybody all week long.”

And to kick off the week PRCA sponsored steer roping, which many top rodeo contestants come to, “So, we’ve got 80 of the top steer ropers in the country competing here today.”

The arena made of wood is something that the Days of ‘76 Chairman says is part of keeping the tradition alive.

“One of the things that we pride ourselves in is being very historic. You see behind us the chutes we have a lot of wood, that goes back to the history of rodeo and the history of Deadwood rodeo,” explains the longtime supporter of the Days of ‘76. “We kind of refuse to change that we want to keep that history and tradition here in Deadwood alive, forever. During our rodeo performances, we have things like reenactments of the killing of Wild Bill Hickock, as well as a reenactment of a stagecoach hold-up”

The rodeo is truly a show with top rodeo competitors and appearances by gunslingers throughout the performances.

“We’ve won rodeo of the year 19 times in the Professional Rodeo of Cowboys Association. In some years that we haven’t won, we’re still nominated as a top-five rodeo. So, nonetheless, Deadwood is one of the biggest rodeos and the best in the country.” The rodeo has been added to the PRCA Rodeo Hall of Fame, and Roberts says there isn’t much more to win besides keeping people coming back.

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