Cattle are the driving force behind the Black Hills Stock Show a - KOTA Territory News

Cattle are the driving force behind the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo


The 55th annual Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo brings in an estimated 300,000 people to Rapid City over its 10-day run.

Organizers say it's the cattle shows and sales that are the heart of the event.

And both sellers and buyers say while it's the cattle that bring them here, they also enjoy other events while in town.

Steve Eichacker has been coming to sell cattle for the better part of 30 years.

"I used to come out when I was in high school and now I'm out here with my high school sons," said Eichacker, a Cattle Rancher

While Eichacker and his family come to the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo for the cattle; they use their down time to attend one of the many events.

"While we have the livestock here we're pretty busy, just taking care of business and things that have to be attended too. But when we get all done, we got tickets to the rodeo Saturday night too. So we look forward to that," said Eichacker.

That kind of shift between work and play is exactly what organizers say they like to see.

"We want to provide a business atmosphere for them, but we also want to provide an entertainment atmosphere for all of our patrons at the stock show," said Kadee Hande, the Livestock Coordinator for the Stock Show.

A business atmosphere for producers to showcase their cattle. But also entertainment in the form of trade shows, rodeos, and more.

"When you get all those things coming together and taking place at one time, it really becomes a destination vacation for people to come out," said Ron Jefferies, Central States Fair General Manager.

A destination driven by the livestock.

"When you look at the stock at the stock show, we are that driving force," said Hande.

"That is the glue; it's the cattle that bring everything together," said Jefferies.

Eichacker says while sellers and buyers come for the business, it's also a chance to through a little fun into the mix.

"It's a big family event. When you visit with them a lot of them are in town for 2-3 days and it's kind of their winter getaways just before calving time," said Eichacker.

Jefferies says the success of the Stock Show relies on the cattle.

He adds none of the other events could stand on their own without the weekday cattle shows and sales.

According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, last year's Stock Show had a direct economic impact of $15.2 million for the Black Hills area.


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