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Black Hills Stock Show, Rodeo

January 24, 2008, 9:32 PM by Matthew Holsen

Black Hills Stock Show, Rodeo
A quarter of a million people are expected to visit the Rapid City Civic Center in the next two weeks for the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. The event has an enormous impact on the local economy. Every inch of the center is leased out to vendors and the facility hires more than 400 temporary workers to help out.

The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, now in its 50th year, hasn't always been this big. Civic Center General Manager Brian Maliske says it used to be just 12 booths and a couple thousand people but it's grown to 400 booths and 60,000 people just for the rodeos alone. 

"Every square inch including closets are leased out for this event. The thing has just exploded," says Maliske.

That increase means more people are needed to work the event; those workers are as diverse as the goods you can buy. 

"Everyone from retired personnel, senior citizens to kids in high school who are looking for some extra money to college kids to about everything you can think of," adds Maliske.

Jay Pellerin works part time in the kitchen. He normally would attend the event but he needed some extra money. He says working the next two weeks may keep him from spending all he earns at the rodeo. 

"I'll try to keep my money in my pocket from all of the vendors out there," he says.

Pellerin has a full-time job on top of working at the civic center. But he says making food for thousands is sometimes more fun than making it for just a few. 

"This is all big production and mass amounts of food and a lot of activity and my other job is a small kitchen and it's a nice dichotemy," Pellerin says.

That change of pace is part of the job many people who work the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo enjoy. 

The temporary workers are usually kept on board through the state basketball tournament.

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