The Fort Pierre Trader Days held Aug. 13-15 pulled in about double the crowd as last year with an estimated 2,000 people joining the festivities.

Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson said the event is one of the city's biggest events of the year.

"It obviously wasn't as big because of COVID," she said. "This year was our fourth year. In 2017, Fort Pierre celebrated its bicentennial and we had a wonderful festival and parade and lots of activities. And so we decided we wanted to make it an annual event, and we called it Trader Days because of Fort Pierre's origins as a trading post."

This year's Trader Days brought back another bit of traditional fun from Fort Pierre's past -- turkey races.

"Turkey races were a fun summer tradition that ended in, I think, the '70s or maybe early '80s," Hanson said. "And there have been a group of people who have always wanted to bring some aspects of that back. So that's why we had turkey races, mud wrestling, rooster roping, dunk tank -- those kinds of things. Those were the things that were incorporated from the old turkey races tradition."

Hanson said for a couple of years now, organizers have coordinated Trader Days with the car club Street Masters' Dam Run event. She said that's worked out well as did coordinating the barbecue competition with the Verendrye Museum, which Hanson estimated also had double the competitors compared to last year.

While Hanson said Fort Pierre Tourism led the effort, she also credited the Fort Pierre chamber, city and Verendrye for helping to pull Trader Days together.

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