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Trip Worthy Events in 2019

The hardest part about writing this was narrowing it down so I didn’t end up with a 15 page blog. There are so many unique events that happen in Rapid City and the Black Hills that are worth mentioning. Luckily, I was able to narrow it down and provide you with what I would consider my top six (in no particular order). Each of these events would add some pretty unforgettable memories to an already overflowing collection of good times you’ll have while visiting the area.

The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

Every September Custer State Park, only a 45 minute drive from Rapid City, hosts an event called the Buffalo Roundup. What’s so exciting about herding a couple buffalo you might ask. Well, it’s not just a couple of buffalo, it’s about 3,000 buffalo. And these buffalo are being rounded up primarily by cowboys and cowgirls on horse back like a scene from a wild west movie. Now for my favorite part. It’s not only awesome to watch this many buffalo running together – but to feel it. North American Bison are the largest mammals in North America, and they can really make a rumble when that many get going. It’s incredible. Depending on where you sit (hint: come early) you can actually feel the ground shaking. This event is guaranteed to be big in 2019 since Custer State Park will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary!

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The Black Hills Powwow

Taking place every year in October, this three-day event is an incredible spectacle of Native American culture with dancing, singing, drumming and so much more all happening under one roof. If you’re looking to learn or experience the Native American culture of the area this is the best thing you could attend. You’ll witness all the Lakota dance styles and stunning regalia while engrossed in the beautiful community that is this event. It’s pretty unforgettable.

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Beer lovers, this is your event. During this event Main Street Square transforms into a little slice of Germany. Sample over 82 beers from local breweries, treat yourself to a schnitzel and enter into a stein holding competition. Bierborse translates to beer stock exchange, meaning the price of beer during this event will vary. The beers that are popular will rise in price, while the less popular will plummet. It’s hard not to have a good time.

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The Crazy Horse Volksmarch

Unlike the other events mentioned, the Crazy Horse Volksmarch happens twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. This event attracts people from all over the world, and for good reasons. Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving in progress and during the Volksmarch they allow you to hike up and out onto his arm. You can stand face to face with Crazy Horse, marvel at the details of the carving, and then take in the stunning views of the surrounding Black Hills.

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The Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival

The Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival is the biggest festival that takes place in downtown Rapid City. The event flows from Main Street Square over to Memorial Park, and like the name suggests it’s everything pumpkin. There is a giant pumpkin weigh-off, pumpkin catapults, pumpkin carving, free pumpkin crafts for kids, goods for purchase and a whole lot more. This event is a great way to embrace the changing of the seasons and will leave you with some excellent pumpkin filled memories.

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The Stratobowl Historic Hot Air Balloon Launch

Located off of Highway 16, the Stratobowl was the location of the Army Air Corps and National Geographic Society’s 1934 and 1935 manned balloon flights that launched into the stratosphere to a record 72,395 feet. Now, every year in September ten to twelve experienced balloonists gather to celebrate the anniversary of that historic balloon flight. Spectators watch as balloons float out of the valley of the Stratobowl and over the tree tops of the Black Hills, and it’s a beautiful thing to witness. An added fun fact, since the flights take place over mountainous terrain it is considered “extreme ballooning”.

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Our area allows for some amazingly unique events that will make your trip to Rapid City even more unforgettable. These are just a few of the wonderful events that happen in the area, to see more you can head to our events page!

Meet the Author

Kelsy Peterson

Raised in Rapid City and lucky to call it home, this outdoor enthusiast loves to explore the Black Hills with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not at work you’ll find her out hiking, at a local ice cream shop, or perhaps home taking a nap.

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Kelsy Peterson
Social Media and Content Manager

Raised in Rapid City and lucky to call it home, this outdoor enthusiast loves to explore the Black Hills with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not at work you’ll find her out hiking, at a local ice cream shop, or perhaps home taking a nap.

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