For 10 days every winter, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City suspends all other activities to host, in partnership with the Central States Fair, Inc. Board and Sutton Rodeos, one of the largest and finest stock shows in America.
In 1978, the Central States Fair joined with Sutton Rodeos to produce an event full of cowboy pageantry and competition, including PRCA rodeos, a ranch rodeo, Wrangler bullfight matches, and the Miss Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo Queen Contest.
Several miles of steel fencing and an arena full of dirt (just over 1,000 tons of it) turn the normally spotless Rushmore Plaza Civic Center facility into an upscale, giant barn. The Black Hills Stock Show ® now also uses the indoor Events Center, built in 2009 at the Central States Fairgrounds for horse shows and other events.
The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo® draws people from the Midwest, Canada, and Mexico. The largest year ever was in 2000, when crowds swelled to over 300,000. Along with Houston, Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Denver, the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo® is now considered one of the top five indoor PRCA rodeos in the nation. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association named the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo® the Indoor Rodeo of the Year in 2002 AND 2003!
The stock show annually features 10 breeds of cattle shown over six days, capped with the Supreme Row Parade of Champions the last Saturday, team penning, team roping, cattle cutting, and barrel racing.
Perennial favorites also include the horse sale Friday and Saturday; Youth Day; The World’s Smallest Rodeo, the Stick Horse Rodeo; North American Sheep Dog Trials and Mutton Bustin’; the South Dakota High School Challenge Rodeo featured teams of high school rodeo cowboys and cowgirls; Super Stallion competition; Ranch Rodeo; three nights of the PRCA Bull Riding National Tour; Bucking Horse, Bull, and Buffalo sales; Stockman’s Banquet and Ball; and the Old West Collector’s Auction (subject to changes).
Approximately 300 vendors set up during the trade show, selling everything from fine arts to front-end loaders. It’s an important marketplace both for stockmen and businessmen in the area. The “Rodeo Zone” was introduced in 2009 as a venue for concerts and over events.
This huge event literally has something for everyone, and any rodeo performance you choose to attend during the stock show promises to be first-class rodeo entertainment!