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2020 Summer Events in the Black Hills

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No matter what time of year you visit the Black Hills, you’re sure to encounter plenty of outdoor recreation and fun for all ages and interests; however, the summer months in this area are particularly packed with gatherings and celebrations, making it the prime time for exploring all that western South Dakota has to offer. We’ve outlined some of the biggest events hitting our region in summer 2020 so you can better plan your Black Hills getaway!

35th Annual Spring Volksmarch at Crazy Horse

On June 6th and 7th, you’ll have the opportunity to not only join in on the most popular organized hike in the U.S., but to also witness the largest mountain carving in the world up close and personal at the 35th Annual Spring Volksmarch at Crazy Horse Memorial. During the 6.2 mile trek, you will be led directly up to the nine-story tall face of Crazy Horse, a celebrated 19th century Lakota warrior best known for leading his people to victory in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Advance registration is not required for this event; hikers are just asked to start their journey between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. A couple more tips to follow if you plan on taking part in this hike:

  • Make sure to take a look at the forecast for the day and dress accordingly. South Dakota’s weather is notoriously unpredictable, so it’s recommended to dress in light layers so you remain comfortable throughout the day.
  • This hike takes two to four hours to complete, so make sure to pack plenty of water and other necessities that you will need in that time. There will be water stations for refills and port-o-potties located along the route as well.

Wild Bill Days

Head to Deadwood June 19th and 20th to commemorate the life of one of Deadwood’s most famed gunslingers, Wild Bill Hickok, during Wild Bill Days! This free celebration features plenty of live music to boogie on down to, as well as a classic car auction, dog competition and gold panning lessons. Click here to learn more about this beloved local event.

Black Hills Mountain Fest

If you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast, or just enjoy good music and beer (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?), a stop at the Black Hills Mountain Fest in Rapid City is just the event for you! Featuring three days chock full of seminars that teach outdoor skills, vendors offering the latest in adventure gear, free nightly concerts and much more, the festival is the perfect crash course to learn about all the outdoor fun that the Black Hills has to offer. And the best part? Proceeds go towards funding for trail maintenance for the area, as well as outdoor education and opportunities for community youth. Mark your calendar for June 21 – 23rd to participate!

Independence Day at Mount Rushmore

You may have heard some of the buzz going on about July 4th, 2020 at Mount Rushmore, but if you haven’t, here it is – fireworks might make a return to the monument after a ten year hiatus. Whether or not fireworks make an appearance this year, those hoping to spend the holiday at the Shrine of Democracy can do so this year, as Mount Rushmore put a halt to festivities last year due to construction. Check the Mount Rushmore website regularly for updates on Independence Day activities as they’re announced.

80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

If you’re longing for the feel of fresh Black Hills air rushing past you while cruising on a motorcycle through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, we have good news for you – the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be here before you know it, and it’s shaping up to be a big one! Keep up with all of the 2020 Rally’s music, vendors and events on the official Sturgis Rally website.

With it being a milestone year for the Rally, ensuring your lodging is in place as early as possible is crucial in making sure you don’t miss a minute of the party. View information about Sturgis Rally lodging at the Powder House Lodge here.

Central States Fair

Rides that make your heart race, concerts that make you stomp your feet and family-friendly events that excite all ages – there’s many reasons why the Central States Fair has become the unofficial farewell to summer here in the Black Hills. The ten day extravaganza kicks off on August 16th in Rapid City, and will feature all of the carnival rides, demo derbies, rodeo competitions and, of course, delightfully greasy fair food we all know and love. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you won’t want to miss it!

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival

Experience the magic of the yearly Buffalo Roundup, where approximately 1,300 buffalo are rounded up and led across the prairie in an effort to maintain a strong and healthy herd.  The three-day event, which begins September 26th, provides great, once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities, as well as memories you will carry with you forever. In addition to the roundup, there will also be 150 vendors on site offering fine arts and crafts that were made right here in South Dakota. Click here to learn more about the Buffalo Roundup and plan your visit!

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