South Dakota High School State Finals Rodeo next week in Fort Pierre

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – One of the nation’s largest high school rodeos is coming to Fort Pierre. For the first time, the Stanley County Fairgrounds will host the South Dakota High School State Finals Rodeo June 16-20. Organizers say that South Dakota’s High School Finals Rodeo is the third-largest such rodeo in the country.

Fort Pierre, which will also host the event in 2021, is just the fifth host town in the 71-year history of the event, joining New Underwood, Rapid City, Huron and Belle Fourche, which has hosted the Finals for the last 13 years.

Performers from across South Dakota will compete at a venue that has been much improved. In the last year and a half, the Stanley County Fairgrounds’ parking lot has been resurfaced, arenas have been moved and rebuilt, additional bleachers have been installed and extra lighting and electrical hookups have been added.

Protective guidelines will be in place for contestants and spectators.

South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Executive Secretary Ann Sunderman said she is happy that the rodeo can happen, even with the pandemic.

Sunderman said that the SDHSRA never gave up on having regional and state rodeos.

Why was Fort Pierre chosen to host the State Finals? Sunderman said that location is one reason.

Sunderman noted the improvements made recently at the Stanley County Fairgrounds.

For those unsure whether they should attend, Sunderman had a straightforward answer.

Sunderman detailed safety measures to be implemented.

Sunderman was asked if COVID-19 concerns could lower turnout.