SIOUX FALLS, SD -
The Dakota Bowl is an event that goes beyond Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls, giving people of all ages something fun to do for an entire day.
How does a massive event like this happen?
As soon as Friday night's game between Roosevelt and Lincoln finished up, there were people lining up at Howard Wood Field to stake out spot for the Dakota Bowl.
"They come out the night before the event and they claim their space, they set up and bring whatever they want to haul out here," O'Gorman Athletic Boosters Co-President Judy Welch said.
That means basketball hoops, table tennis and all the food anyone could eat. It is entertainment that lasts from sun up to sun down.
"We've got friends from Washington, they come over in our tailgate area, and it's not that we say its totally an O'Gorman thing. We want the other team to come out, too, and make it a day-long event. The weather prohibited a little bit today because of the cold, but otherwise it's an event for the day, it's not just a nighttime event, it's a day-long event," Dakota Bowl committee member Kim Burma said.
To make the Dakota Bowl work properly, there is one aspect that people may not notice.
"It takes a village. There are all kinds of volunteers from the food to the athletic boosters clothing to parking to security. It's countless," Welch said.
The work that the parents do may go unnoticed, but it is certainly appreciated.
On the surface, this event is just for the kids to have fun, play basketball, maybe grill up some burgers before the game later Saturday evening, but underneath it is the parent volunteers that build the foundation and make sure the day goes off without a hitch.
"The kids think 'Hey, it's just one big O'Gorman event,' they may not realize the parent involvement unless their parent was involved," Burma said.
"Volunteers are hugely important, as is the commitment from our community. Without that, the Bob Burns Dakota Bowl would not exist," Welch said.
The work the volunteers took on Saturday is even more impressive considering organizers were expecting close to 10,000 people at this year's Dakota Bowl.
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