Buffalo Roundup is this Friday

By: 
Jason Ferguson
By Jason Ferguson The 56th annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is set to take place this Friday, and with it comes the annual arts festival and craft show, replete with plenty of entertainment and crafts to purchase during the three-day extravaganza
The 56th annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is set to take place this Friday, and with it comes the annual arts festival and craft show, replete with plenty of entertainment and crafts to purchase during the three-day extravaganza.
Friday morning, dozens of cowboys and cowgirls on horseback and park crews in pickups will  round up around 1,400 buffalo to drive them into the corrals where they will be sorted, branded and vaccinated in preparation for the fall sale in November. 
As the buffalo approach the valley where the corrals are located, they will be greeted by thousands of onlookers, many of whom have traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles to view the spectacle. 
No park entry fee is charged the day of the roundup and parking lots will open at 6:15 a.m. There are two locations from which the roundup can been viewed. The north parking and viewing area is accessed by heading south on Wildlife Loop Road from the Game Lodge/Visitor Center area. To get to the south parking and viewing area, spectators should travel east on Wildlife Loop Road from Hwy. 87 near Blue Bell Lodge. 
The roundup begins at 9:30 a.m. and the buffalo usually make their first appearance at the viewing area between 11 and noon. 
Viewers are encouraged to bring sunscreen, layered clothing, folding chairs, binoculars, snacks and drinks. However, breakfast will be available at both viewing areas and a buffalo barbecue will be served at the corrals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Spectators are encouraged by park officials to leave pets at home. If they are brought to the viewing areas, they will have to remain in a vehicle. 
About half an hour after the buffalo are securely in their pens, the work of sorting and working them begins and visitors are invited to watch the process from 1-3 p.m.
The Buffalo Roundup is more than just a one-day event, however, and there are activities and entertainment for everyone starting on Thursday with the Arts Festival and Craft Show. Approximately 150 exhibitors will be selling Native American and Western arts and crafts and South Dakota-made products during the three days of the festival. The festival grounds are located across from the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Educational Center near the State Game Lodge.
In addition there will be non-stop entertainment featuring dancers, bands and poets.
Among the entertainers at this year’s event will be the Stringbean Svenson and Family, The Lonely Rangers, Sheila Greenland, Jalan Crossland, Eli Mosley, Allen & Jill Kirkham, The Wilt Brothers, Alaska String Band, Kerry Grombacher, Cambria String Band and the Ramblin’ Rangers. 
Educational programs will be conducted throughout the weekend in the education tent featuring educational talks, bluegrass music, speakers from the surrounding Black Hills area and living history demonstrations. 
The schedule for the festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday (park entrance not required this day) and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The weekend features a pancake feed from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, the proceeds from which will go to Feeding South Dakota.
In addition, on Friday, Sept. 24, there will be “night glow” via hot air balloons at the festival around 7 p.m. after The Wilt Brothers performance. This will take place weather depending.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit gfp.sd.gov/buf
falo-roundup.

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