Roundup keeps spotlight on South Dakota

South Dakota is about to be in the national spotlight once again this year with the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park early this Friday. Some 1,450 bison will be herded into the corrals at the south end of the park by wranglers on horseback and pickups. More than 10,000 people and more typically attend this unique, exciting event.
This will be the third and final high-profile event this year that will showcase South Dakota and its wide-open spaces. This is a big plus for those in other states who have been locked down by their local and state elected officials because of the virus. Not so in South Dakota!
The patriotic July 3 Presidential visit and return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial was the first national and international event which highlighted the beauty of the magnificent Black Hills in South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem, who has become nationally known for not locking down her state, gave a great, from-the-heart speech as she introduced the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
The event was attended by more than 7,500 people who were crowded into the viewing area. The predicted uptick in virus infections failed to happen, much to the disappointment of Trump critics. And there were no forest fires from the impressive fireworks display, which was also of some concern.
The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in early August was held in spite of objections about lack of social distancing and wearing of masks. Nearly 500,000 people showed up from all around the country and the world and occupied the small South Dakota community for 10 days. The predicted big increase in virus infections and deaths failed to happen once again.
We expect the same will be true this weekend as the Arts Festival and Crafts Show kicks off  Thursday and runs through Saturday to coincide with the buffalo roundup Friday morning. The Buffalo Roundup typically draws the attention of international and national news outlets and highlights our beautiful state and its Black Hills once again. It will be livestreamed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
Let’s not forget the annual Autumn Volksmarch at Crazy Horse Memorial this Saturday and Sunday. The event typically draws thousands of people who will take advantage of the 6.2-mile hike to the top of the monument. This will be the first time this year that visitors to the memorial will have access to the top, since the annual spring volksmarch was cancelled due to the virus.
More information on all these weekend events can be found elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper.
Our state has received more than its share of national and international positive publicity this year, largely because our governor never shut down cities and businesses due to the COVID-19 virus. Instead, Gov. Noem left it up to individual cities and businesses as to how they planned to deal with the virus. There were no mandates on opening or closing coming from Pierre. She actually trusted us to do the right thing. What a unique concept!
Common sense prevailed in our state and we were allowed to live our lives instead of being shut down. And, South Dakota received an unprecedented amount of positive publicity as a result. We have been discovered!

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