South Dakota’s Great Places: Days of 76

South Dakota’s Great Places: Days of 76
Deadwood's Days of 76 includes a rodeo. (South Dakota Tourism photo)

Deadwood's Days of 76 includes a rodeo. (South Dakota Tourism photo)

DEADWOOD, S.D. – For more than 80 years, a historic town has played host to one of South Dakota’s great events. Deadwood, a revived Old West and gold mining town, fills with visitors the end of each July for the Days of ‘76 celebration.

The Days of ’76 festival is a commemoration that honors Deadwood’s first pioneers. In 1876, the gold-filled Dakota Territory was invaded by those seeking to go from rags to riches overnight.

This year marks the 88th year for the Days of ’76.

The annual five-day event is one of South Dakota’s biggest rodeos. Steer roping, timed events, rodeo slack, barrel racing, and other rodeo performances are all part of this unique tradition. It has been named the PRCA Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year and PRCA Midsize Rodeo of the Year numerous times.

In addition to the rodeo, there is a Days of ’76 parade on two days of the event. The parade travels through historic downtown Deadwood.

While in Deadwood, visit the Days of ’76 Museum. The museum features horse-drawn wagons, stage coaches, carriages, clothing, memorabilia and archives that have been generated by the celebration.

This year, Days of ’76 takes place July 26-30.

To learn more about the Days of ’76 celebration, visit the Days of ‘76 Rodeo website, the Days of ‘76 Museum website, and the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce website.

— From a Department of Tourism news release

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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