Monday nearly 15,000 people will make the trek to the 47th Annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. An event with this many people, and buffalo, takes months of planning to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
Plans for this year's Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup started the day after last year's round up, and it's all summed up in three days.
"Three days of pretty hard work, everybody's working hard," said Game Lodge Maintenance Man Tom Pallett. "And it's just wall to wall people, the tents fill up and they sit around all over here."
This year could be another record year for attendance. "Yesterday here at the arts festival we had an increase of about 10% so we're really looking at you know probably a similar increase in the buffalo roundup tomorrow," said Visitor Services Coordinator Craig Pugsley.
The roundup parking lots open at 6:15 in the morning. "People will be in line you know by then for sure; usually about a mile length of cars by 6:15," said Pugsley.
With 14 ,000 people in the area, Pugsley says steps are taken to ensure their safety.
But he says the cowboys are the ones in actual danger. "We've certainly had horses gored before by buffalo and we've had riders fall off their horses you know it's fast, it's aggressive, and you know there's a lot of tough riding out there," said Pugsley.
"I'm not nervous, a little bit anxious because I want to make sure I do good," said Roundup cowboy Stephen Kissinger.
This is his first year riding in the Buffalo Roundup. "Oh I'm excited yeah I'm excited, I am," said Kissinger.
He says he's had lots of experience with wild animals, but never buffalo. "I read up on it, so I know when their hair raises and they put their tail up you want to be careful," said Kissinger.
All riders are experienced, but even they prepare for the roundup with an orientation ride through the area. "So when tomorrow kind of starts off the horses are ready to go and so are the riders," said Pugsley.
Most people say all the work that goes into the roundup is worth the priceless western experience.