Deadwood Days of ’76, Belle Fourche Roundup nominated for PRCA Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year
The Deadwood Days of ’76, which concluded its 85th Annual Rodeo in July, has again been nominated as Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year for 2007 by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The winners will be announced in Las Vegas on Dec. 5 at the annual PRCA National Convention Banquet.
The Deadwood Rodeo will be competing this year with the Belle Fourche Roundup Annual 4th of July Rodeo and rodeos in Bremerton, WA, Gladewater, TX, and Jackson, MS.
“We are very pleased that our neighbors and friends on the Belle Fourche committee have been nominated this year as they put on an excellent rodeo every year during the 4th of July holidays,” said Deadwood Committee member Jon Mattson. “The improvements that they have made to their rodeo grounds facility and the quality of rodeo performances attract top contestants and certainly put them at the top of the class of medium size rodeos.”
These nominations are especially pleasing to St. Onge resident Curt Olson, who serves on both the Deadwood and Belle Fourche rodeo committees. Olson does not know if he is the first committee person to have had this opportunity in the PRCA to double his chances of being on the winning committee. He has had fun with his fellow committee members telling them, “I’ll decide which table I am going to sit at at the convention after the award is announced.” Olson has become a valuable member of both committees and points out his family’s ties to both Belle Fourche and the Deadwood-Lead area.
The Deadwood Rodeo has won the Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year for four consecutive years before being moved into the medium category after which it won the top honor in that category in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
“Winning the best rodeo in its class seven of the past eight years is an obvious indication of just how special the Days of ’76 Rodeo truly is to contestants and spectators,” said longtime committee member Pat Roberts.
Mattson also indicated that like Belle Fourche, Deadwood enjoys broad community support and generous financial support from the City of Deadwood without which it would not be able to provide the large purse which helps attract top contestants from all over the country. Deadwood has also benefitted from city and historic preservation funding of grandstand improvements, a new VIP grandstand, new wooden chutes and pens, and other improvements to its facility which takes place in the Deadwood valley with a ponderosa pine forest backdrop.
According to this year’s chairman, Ted Thompson, “the atmosphere that surrounds Deadwood is something that can only be experienced first-hand. That is why some of the biggest names in the PRCA come to our small town in South Dakota and participate in the Days of ’76.”
Thompson also indicated that the nomination and awards are only possible through the work of many volunteers including teamsters and parade participants and the volunteer committee and numerous sponsors as well as the stock contractors and everyone else who makes the Annual Celebration and Rodeo possible.