Roundup weekend packed with events
Published: Thursday, September 26th, 2013
From watching the legendary buffalo roundup to walking a volksmarch to tasting a wide variety of chili made from buffalo meat, the 2013 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup weekend has something for everyone.
The centerpiece of the weekend is the 48th annual Buffalo Roundup, which will be held on a Friday for the first time this year, on Sept. 27.
Lots open at 6:15 a.m. in the viewing area and close at 9 a.m. Reservations are not required. The ground will rumble and the Old West will be revisited when the actual Buffalo Roundup begins at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance will get to watch the majesty of hundreds of buffalo being rounded up and driven toward the Custer State Park corrals by park staff. There are two viewing areas available on Wildlife Loop Road. Signs will direct the public to the viewing areas.
Once the animals are at the corrals, park staff will test, brand and sort the animals from 1 to 5 p.m. The public is also welcome to view this process.
Pancakes and sausage will be available beginning at 6:15 a.m. in both viewing areas and lunch will be served at the corrals once the buffalo are safely in the corrals. There is a free shuttle service provided from the viewing areas to the corrals and back to the parking lots.
Many of the buffalo that are sorted and tested in the corrals will be sold in November as part of the park’s annual buffalo auction, the proceeds from which help fund park operations.
As always in conjunction with the roundup, the 20th annual Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29. The weekend will feature continuous entertainment along with arts and craft booths near the State Game Lodge on Hwy. 16A. Artisans and craftsmen will sell their wares ranging from Native American to Western and South Dakota made products, while entertainers will tell stories, give informational talks and dance. The always popular buffalo chip flip will take place as well.
Saturday, Sept. 28, will also offer some of the best Dutch Oven cooking in the region at the Buffalo Roundup Cabela’s Challenge Dutch Oven Cookoff. Dutchers from across the region will compete for points and prizes in this sanctioned international Dutch Oven society cookoff. Tasting begins after the dishes have been judged around noon. Tasting donations will go to the KOTA Care and Share Food Drive.
Saturday is also the day the artwork for the ninth annual Custer Stampede Buffalo Art Auction will be auctioned off. This art event features tabletop and life-sized fiberglass buffalo painted by regional artists, plus a selection of original free-form art, including sculptures, jewelry and paintings. The artwork has been on display all summer long throughout the Custer area.
Those interested in purchasing some of the art can see it up close from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, under the pavilion at the Buffalo Arts Festival Grounds during the meet the artists reception. The reception is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. The auction begins at 2 p.m. Sept. 28.
Anyone interested in obtaining a bid number may pick one up at the Stampede booth. Buyers of life-sized buffalo need to be prepared to transport their piece after the auction.
Raffle tickets are still available for the table top buffalo created by a Custer High School student, and may be purchased at the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce for $1 or six for $5. The drawing will be held at the auction, with 60 percent of the proceeds presented as a scholarship to the artist, with the other 40 percent going to the Custer High School art program.
The Buffalo Roundup wouldn’t be complete without the chili cookoff, and the 24th annual Buffalo Wallow Chili Cookoff is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29. A variety of groups will cook up their pots of chili for the competition, with tasting beginning at 2 p.m. and lasting until the chili runs out. Tasting wristbands may be purchased beginning at 10 a.m. that day.
Finally, a new event to the Buffalo Roundup lineup this year is the Crazy Horse Special Fall Volksmarch on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 29-30.
This is the first fall Volksmarch at Crazy Horse and gives hikers the opportunity to hike the world’s largest mountain carving in progress to the top, coming eye to eye with Crazy Horse. The gates will open at 6 a.m. each day for the 10K hike, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. each day.
Each hiker must register at the starting point, and the trail will close at 4 p.m. each day. Admission to the event is three cans of food to the KOTA Care and Share Food Drive. Collectors’ T-shirts and medals will be available.
For more information on any of the events happening during Buffalo Roundup weekend, contact Custer State Park at 255-4515 or visit custerstatepark.com.
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