by Al Van Zee
It's that time of the year already, time to start making plans for the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. The Roundup takes place on September 24th.
The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is sort of a combination of football game, steeple chase, and tailgate party. The buffalo are the home team, and the crowd goes nuts every time one of them makes a run for it.
Craig Pugsley at Custer State Park says the rules will be the same as in previous years. He says the parking lots will open at sunrise and will close at 9 a.m. He says just about 14,000 people showed up for last year's Buffalo Roundup, and he expects at least that many to attend again this year.
Craig Pugsley says, "Our crews have been out staking out and marking the parking lots and getting them ready for the fourteen thousand visitors we hope to see. And the resources guys have been working the buffalo, pushing them toward the south end of the park in preparation for the roundup as well." Pugsley says the pre-game chili cook-off and arts festival the weekend before the round will have some additional features this year.
For the morning of the roundup, park officials advise the fans to dress warmly and bring a lawn chair. Breakfast will be available at the concession stands, but the long lines may mean you'll want to pack a breakfast basket. Of course, don't forget your binoculars and your camera. The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is becoming the must-see event that caps off the tourist season in the Black Hills.