“It is crazy around here trying to get ready for Saturday,” exclaimed museum Director Kalyn Eulbert, who is reveling in the responsibilities of preparing the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center in Fort Pierre for its 10th anniversary.
The festivities begin Saturday, August 10 at 5 p.m. (CT) with the unveiling of a large bronze statue of four-time World Champion Bronc Rider Clint Johnson. The statue depicts Johnson on the bronc Kicking Bear and will be unveiled in rodeo center’s sculpture garden. It accompanies the current two bronze statues of six-time and five-time world champion bronc riders Casey Tibbs and Billy Etbauer.
Johnson and his family, along with sculptor, T.R. Chytka, will be in attendance.
The rodeo center includes a museum featuring not only Fort Pierre’s own Casey Tibbs, the legendary saddle bronc rider who died in 1990, but other pioneers and leaders in rodeo and ranching from the state, as well as a large convention and meeting facility. The Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center is a non-partisan, non-profit business.
The 10th anniversary celebration also includes:
A kids’ rodeo carnival, for little cowboys and cowgirls. “Grab your stick ponies and get ready to race! Kids can buy a wristband for unlimited play in our barrel race, stick pony race, steer roping, blindfold branding, and other events,” said Eulbert. “4-H ambassadors from around the state are volunteering to help run the kids’ rodeo.”
Live musical entertainment features award-winning recording artists Del Shields and Eli Barsi, known for their country western music.
A branding party. It involves burning a lasting legacy on the boards of the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center by placing your livestock brand. Contact Eulbert at (605) 494-1094 to become part of the branding party.
Willie Cowan will be giving wagon team presentation, with two of his teams, and then giving rides for free-will donations afterward.
A wine tasting event. “We will be introducing our three new South Dakota wines during our anniversary event. A free tasting will be available for those 21 years and older,” said Eulbert. Wine and beer will also be available for purchase.
And what is a true celebration without food? “The Silver Spur will be providing a pulled pork and hotdog meal. This includes a sandwich or hotdog, chips, cookie and a drink for $5,” said Eulbert.
The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center is a historical museum dedicated to rodeo — the South Dakota state sport — its history and its stand-out individuals, like Mattie Goff Newcombe the spectacular trick horse rider of the 1920s.
At the rodeo center, visitors can:
Ride the virtual bronc and see how long eight seconds can really be
Watch famous rides
Listen to interviews of the 19 world champions from South Dakota.
Have photos taken of family and friends wearing western clothing. Displays include the Little Britches, 4-H, High School Rodeo, College and more.
The museum can also provide personal tours to smallish and largish groups. The parking lot is easily accessible by tour buses and RV’s. Package tours can include a lunch, dinner or social hour, when arranged in advance.