Roughrider Days for summer of 2020 canceled

The Roughrider Days Fair and Expo scheduled for June 24 to July 4 will not take place. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

The largest event held annually in Stark County and southwest North Dakota has had to make the tough decision to cancel for the summer of 2020.

The Stark County Fairgrounds will be empty this summer as the Roughrider Days’ 50th Annual Fair and Expo, scheduled for June 24 through the Fourth of July, was nixed amid safety concerns stemming from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

“The Roughrider Commission did not make this decision lightly as this year marks a milestone anniversary and an event that many in our community and the surrounding area look forward to every year,” Cole Boespflug, the president of the Roughrider Commission office, said in a press release.

According to Boespflug, canceling the event was a difficult decision — especially considering it marks the half-century anniversary of the celebration.

Roughrider Days has long been one of the most attended events on the Western Edge.


Among the canceled events is the annual rodeo, which sees participants from all over the world travel to Dickinson to participate. The three-day rodeo typically boasts a total payout of over $70,000 dollars.

The Roughrider Commission cited the health and well-being of the community, people who volunteer, participants and everyone involved as the main reason the event had to be canceled.

In addition, the Roughrider Day Parade is always a big hit that unfortunately will not take place this summer.

The carnival is popular with the children as individuals from all over southwest North Dakota and the state come to join in on the family fun.

“We appreciate the volunteers and local business sponsors that have shown their support for our event this year,” the press release said. “Without them, Roughrider Days would not be able to go on like it has for the last 50 years. That commitment shows the toughness and faith in our community.”

On the bright side though, the fireworks show on the Fourth of July will still go on. Families can gather and enjoy the show as long as they social distance and follow all health guidelines still in place at the time.

The fireworks show will be able to be seen all over Dickinson, and organizers hope to put a positive note on such an unfortunate event of circumstances.

One year cannot stop the tradition, and hopes are that it will be bigger and even better in 2021 as the scheduled dates are from June 23 to July 4.

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