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The Beginning

Champion Angus at one of the earlier stock shows.  
In 1958, members of the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee had a meeting at Rapid City Laundry to discuss a plan for the future– a plan that would incorporate rural lifestyles into the urban community of Rapid City. It was at that laundromat the first plans for the Black Hills Winter Show were formed.

At that time only 12% of the population lived on farms or ranches. The ultimate fear was that someday the rancher would be an endangered species. With the hopes of protecting agriculture communities and lifestyles, planners made a commitment to preserve the western heritage in the state of South Dakota.

The first Winter Show was held at the Central States Fairgrounds. Only three breeds of cattle were shown that year- Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn, however, the first year's showed potential for the winter extravaganza as it slowly grew, adding more breeds of cattle year after year.

In 1966, the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee passed the reigns of the Winter Show over to the Black Hills Exposition (Central States Fair, Inc.). At that time, the name changed to what we know it as today — The Black Hills Stock Show®.

There was not a lack of excitement. Ranch wives took in the vendors that were housed in the Alfalfa Palace, along with demonstrations on cooking and sewing. The men were able to look at quality livestock and socialize with other people in the industry.

Over 140 head of cattle were shown in the unheated Soule Building on the fairgrounds.

66th annual Black Hills Stock Show®

The Stock Show becomes the social event of the year for many.  
New events are continually added to the Black Hills Stock Show®. 2024 marks the 66th annual agriculture event along with new events, the Black Hills Stock Show® has grown by event days. A pre-Stock Show featuring SD Cutting Horse Assocation, NCHA Show and a Bridle Spectacular in conjunction with the NRCHA. New events are continually added to the James Kjerstad Event Center at the Central States Fairgrounds.

Today, the traditions of the Black Hills Stock Show® continue with 10 breeds of cattle sales, a 2-day horse sale, the Hutchison Western Stallion Row along with over 300 vendors, and seminars to encourage both livestock producers, horse enthusiasts and the run of the mill city folk to enjoy the western extravaganza.

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