The Custer County Fair returns to the Custer County Fairgrounds in Hermosa Aug. 9-12. Coming back in high demand is Black Hills Paintball. New to the fair are NS Inflatables, a large increase in 4-H and open class exhibits, and more food vendors.
New vendors for fairgoers to enjoy are Beau’s Kickstand, CG’s Mini Donuts, Sgt. Poppers Kettle Corn, Old Fashion Soda, Custer Masons & Eastern Star Concessions and more.
The action begins Thursday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. with the free kickoff supper. That is followed by the Barn Yard Olympics at 7 p.m., a competition of team games with events such as goat roping, bucket race, sack race, cow milking, egg race and more. The supper is sponsored by Black Hills Electric Co-op, Farm Credit Services, Pop’s Grocery, Belle Fourche and Phillip Livestock and Bishop Beef.
Friday evening kicks off with the ranch rodeo and the newly featured Ride for the Branch Ranch Bronc Riding featuring five ranchers cheering on their cowboy competing for whose brand will win.
On Friday all fair displays for the public are viewable. There will be hands-on livestock judging and open class showing all day.
At 8:30 a.m. Friday is the Versatility Horse Show, an event so successful last year it was brought back. This event has reining, cow horse, ranch riding, trail and halter classes for the equine contestants. The purpose is to demonstrate that contestants’ ranch horses can handle a cow and perform various athletic abilities.
From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. all food and display vendors open, allowing visitors to shop local retail vendors, visit with insurance- and agriculture-related booths while enjoying the new food vendor selections at the fairgrounds.
At noon Black Hills Paintball and the new NS Inflatables are open, and at 4 p.m. the Kinda’ Korkie Wine and Beer Garden opens.
Another free barbecue appreciation dinner sponsored by Custer State Park and First Interstate Bank of Custer is planned from 5-6:30 p.m.
At 7 p.m. the annual Hermosa Roping Club Ranch Rodeo and the new Ride for the Brand Ranch Bronc Riding will take place, preceded by a calcutta at 6:30 p.m.
Teams of four will compete in fun-filled ranch rodeo, including the wild horse catch, team doctoring, team penning, obstacle race and more. The winner will be entered in the Central Sates Fair Ranch Rodeo later in the month.
The Ride for the Branch Ranch Bronc Riding is produced by T-N-T Event & Marketing Management and the Hermosa Roping Club. Five local ranchers are invited to see whose rider will be able to ride two head of bucking horses in a ranch saddle to take home the Ride for the Brand title.
From 9 p.m. to midnight there will be live music by “Feedback,” local Hermosa artists playing classic rock and country music.
Saturday sees 4-H and open class entries continue and the day kicks off with livestock exhibits, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs being checked in and getting all cleaned up for the show.
The Custer County Fair Board was able to enhance the location for all of the exhibits with better power sources and locations to help accomodate the numerous entries.
Registration for the new Barnyard BBQ Cookoff runs from 5-9 a.m. Aspen Ridge Lawn & Landscaping, along with Larry Baker, helped bring this new event to the fair. Teams will be provided beef, chicken and pork to put their barbecue talents to the test. Judging criteria will be taste, flavor, juiciness, tenderness, overcooked/undercooked and appearance. A grand champion will be awarded to the team with the highest total score. Judging begins at 1:30 p.m. and then the meat is available to the public to sample.
At 9 a.m. the Ranch Sort begins, with categories for rancher, youth/open and rancher/open. Ranch Sorting is the fastest growing equine sport in the country.
At 11 a.m. the Good Old Driving Days event sponsored by Sunday Driver’s Club takes place. Spectators can watch the hitch and drive course, feed race, water race, log pull and more — all horse drawn.
The Kinda’ Korkie Beer Garden opens at 1 p.m. with live entertainment from 3-7 p.m. At 4 p.m. is the annual Beers & Ears fundraiser at the Hermosa American Legion Post Home.
Saturday evening will see the fifth annual Custer County Classic Bull Riding along with mutton bustin’ for the kids at 7 p.m. Thirty bull riders will compete for a large cash pot with 10 riders coming back to the short round for the winning monies.
The fair keeps it rocking Saturday night following the bull riding with Kenny Feidler and the Cowboy Killers from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The fair rolls into Sunday with a pancake breakfast and a cowboy church service at the fairgrounds. The food and display vendors are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At 11 a.m. the annual parade will take place through Hermosa. This is also the time for the Kinda’ Korkie Wine and Beer Garden to open.
Noon is the start time for the fourth annual car show featuring over 100 hot rods, classic and antique cars. At 1 p.m. the Ice Cream Crankoff will take place, as well as a horseshoe tournament and the annual Kids Playday Rodeo. At 1:30 p.m. the Black Hills in Motion Cloggers will perform, followed by the car show awards at 2:30 p.m.
“The Custer County Fairgrounds have pulled out all the stops with not only lining up a great agenda for the fair, but they have also done a lot of improvements to the fairgrounds for the vendors, cattle shows and spectators to have the best experience possible,” said fair board member Tif Robertson. “The Custer County Fair Association would like to welcome everyone to come and enjoy your county fair!”
For more information visit custercountyfair.com or like Custer County Fair on Facebook at facebook.com/ Custer County Fair.