Black Hills summer events plan on opening despite COVID-19

Wyoming made a historic decision this week, canceling several summer events, including Cheyenne Frontier Days. It’s the first time it won’t be held in 124-years.

The Central States Fair, Black Hills Roundup and Days of Seventy Six are a few of the upcoming events that take place in the Black Hills, and despite Wyoming’s decision, are intent on opening. South Dakota is one of the few states that wasn’t shut down and is not densely populated.

Event coordinators have taken into account the in their decision to continue with business as usual.

Ron Jeffries, Central States Fair General Manager, said “We differ quite a bit from Cheyenne, in that Cheyenne does not have a lot of people from the Cheyenne area that are there. It’s a draw from a much broader area, so even a chance at what I would perhaps even consider an international draw. And for our rodeo, our event, we draw here a smaller market, we’re a much more rural area.”

Across the board, sanitation stations are being added and venues plan to clean more often, especially where money and goods may be exchanged. Even with the enhanced safety precautions, venues will not require visitors to wear masks, and cannot guarantee social distancing with crowds involved.

“No matter what we decide, no matter what the board of directors at the central states fair decides, somebodies not gonna be happy with that decision, but you know, our job is to do the best we can with the information and the resources we have.” said Jeffries.

It is expected that turn out will be significantly lower than previous years, but there are some perks for rodeo visitors this year.

Keith Anderson, Black Hills Roundup Chairman, said “If you want to see probably one of the best contestant line ups, it would be this year. Especially with some of the bigger rodeos in Wyoming canceling. They’ll definitely come to belle now.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News