North Dakota Rodeo Association is returning to Dickinson for the first time since 1996.

NDRA is coming to Stark County Fairgrounds on May 25, according to the Stark County Fair Association's 2019 events list.

"I wanted to see it back here," Lisa Heiser, Stark County Park Director, said. "Back in the day, they used to be one of the biggest rodeos that the (NDRA) had. So I thought, 'Why don't we have one here?' No one could tell me why."

A cost projection was presented to the fair association.

"It was a matter of about $5,700 and they said, 'We're doing it,'" Heiser said. "We did buckles after the fact and got sponsors for the buckles just to make it more unique and special for the contestants coming."

Also coming is the PRCA Wild Rides rodeo in September.

"This one is nationally televised," Heiser said. "They do completely different things there. They do interviews with the top cowboys and cowgirls, and that's televised. It's going to be a big one."

Many events are scheduled at Stark County Fairgrounds this year.

Sawyer Brown will be the featured performer for the Roughrider Days concert.

"We're looking forward to having them here," Heiser said. "It's been a few years since the Roughrider Commission had them. It should be really a good concert again. It's always well attended and well liked."

Emerson Drive will be the opening act.

The "Be You" mentoring series for girls ages 7 to 17 starts in April.

Speakers will include Nikki Steffes Hansen, a professional barrel racer; Hali Gjermndson, an x-ray technician; Penny Lewis, an emergency medical technician; Hailey Kinzel, professional barrel racer; Ellen Huber, Mandan business development and communications manager; and Courtney Prethus, attorney.

"It's just important for me to have strong female influences, so girls can see they can do a multitude of things, not just specific horse-type things," Heiser said. "I never had to ask somebody twice to do it. These gals said, 'Absolutely I'll do it.'"

On June 8, the Rescued & Reclaimed vintage market with feature roughly 200 vendors.

"That'll be different, because it's not a livestock event," Heiser said. "They'll set up along our gravel area, parking lot, and set up for any kind of refurbished furniture and little knick-knack type things. It's a big hit in Montana."

Work has started toward readying for the fairgrounds for the 2019 season.

"I opened the gates, but that's all we've done so far," Heiser said. "I haven't turned the water on yet. I'll do that once we're out of the risk of everything freezing."

Heiser, who has served as county fairgrounds coordinator since May, was promoted Monday to Stark County Park Director.

She will be in charge of both the fairgrounds and Southwest Speedway.

"I've been working with them all year, trying to identify the role and responsibility that goes with it," she said, "and presented what we could do in the future and what this position could bring to the community."

Heiser is excited for the start of the 2019 fairgrounds season.

"I'm looking forward all around to working some of these bigger events," she said, "and do some different things for our people."

A complete list of events can be found at