Days of ’76 Rodeo provides good fun for fans, excellent competition for contestants
Deadwood, S.D. (June 5, 2023) – When the Days of ’76 Rodeo kicks off, it’s serious business at having fun.
Nineteen times the rodeo, held in Deadwood July 23-29, has been selected as one of the four best rodeos in the nation: four times as PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year, fourteen times as PRCA Medium Rodeo of the Year, and once as the Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year. In the Badlands Circuit, the rodeos in the Dakotas, it’s been voted best rodeo seventeen times.
Those wins translate into good entertainment for spectators, says Travis Rogers, chairman of the rodeo.
“The fans are going to see a show,” he said. “It’s a top-notch rodeo for the fans.”
The rodeo’s contract personnel are a large part of the reason the show is high-quality, Rogers said.
This year’s personnel include announcers Randy Corley and Garrison Allen, stock contractors Burch Pro Rodeo and Sutton Rodeo, and rodeo clown and specialty act John Harrison.
Good personnel make for a good show, Rogers said. “Sometimes things happen that aren’t in the script,” he said, “but our personnel fill in the gaps so the fans don’t even notice it. If there’s a hiccup, nobody sees it. They do a good job.”
Corley and Harrison have earned their own accolades in the business: Corley is a 2017 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee and Harrison has won multiple PRCA awards, including three last year: Clown of the Year, Comedy Act of the Year, and the Coors Man in the Can Award. The Days of ’76 was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2011.
Several factors play into a rodeo winning Rodeo of the Year for their size division, Rogers said. “It’s a combination of things. It’s how we run the rodeo, the livestock we get in, the payout, hospitality for the contestants, and more.
“We have twenty people on the rodeo committee, and every single person works pretty dang hard at it.” Rodeo committee members are all volunteers.
Because the rodeo pays out nearly $200,000, Days of ’76 gets some of the biggest names among riders, ropers and barrel racers. “We have Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers who compete in Deadwood,” he said.
New this year is a free concert by the band “Brule”, which will kick off rodeo week on July 25 at 8 pm at Outlaw Square in Deadwood.
This is Rogers’ twelfth year on the Days of ’76 committee and his first year as rodeo chairman. He grew up attending the rodeo and loves it.
“I like the history, the parade, the cowboys it brings to town. It’s a real economic driver for Deadwood.
“It’s always been a celebration to me, and that’s what I love about it.”
This year’s Days of ’76 takes place July 23-29. Performances are July 27-29 at 7 pm nightly with a 1:30 pm matinee on July 29. Slack, the extra competition that doesn’t fit into the performances, runs July 24-27. The historic parades, made up nearly totally of horse-drawn vehicles, take place July 28 at 1:30 pm and July 29 at 10 am.
Tickets range in price from $11-$41 (plus fees) and can be purchased online at Daysof76.com and at the gate. For more information, visit the website. https://daysof76.com/ticket-information
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