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Buffalo Roundup Approaches, Leaves Change, Visitors Flock


PIERRE, S.D. – Custer State Park invites visitors to attend the annual Buffalo Roundup on Friday, Sept. 27.

Custer State Park hosts the Buffalo Roundup each year as a herd management tool for the park. By rounding up the herd, managers are able to keep a strong and healthy herd within the park. This year, more than five dozen riders will saddle up on horseback and lead the way herding in 1,300 buffalo through the park’s prairie and grasslands and into the corrals.

 “Spectators have been enjoying this event for years. In the past, we’ve seen upwards of 14,000 people in the viewing areas. Typically, we hear them cheering for the buffalo as the roundup comes to a close,” remarks Craig Pugsley, manager of Visitor Services at Custer State Park. “But in the end, park staff and volunteers are successful in getting the herd corralled.”

“This event is one-of-a-kind in the country,” says Department of Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen. “There are few greater events which allow you to relive the traditional ways of ranch life and the Wild West than the Buffalo Roundup.”

In conjunction with the roundup, the park hosts an Arts Festival (Sept. 28-29) featuring a Dutch Oven Cook Off and Buffalo Stampede Art Art on the 28th, and Chili CookOff on the29. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Arts Festival which will feature more than 150 vendors from the region, including many South Dakota made products. 

Another reason for visitors to stay through the weekend is Crazy Horse Memorial’s first fall Volksmarch. This will allow visitors another chance to walk up the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. The Autumn Volksmarch will be held September 29-30. Details can be found at

The Roundup will begin at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 27. Parking lots will open at 6:15 a.m. and close at 9 a.m. There are two viewing areas from which visitors can chose to enjoy the events; the North Parking and Viewing Area, or the South Parking and Viewing Area.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council and the South Dakota State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.