CUSTER STATE Park, S.D. (KELO) — The 57th Buffalo Roundup begins this week at Custer State Park.
It’s that time of the year when these bison will soon be on the move and park officials, visitors, and riders are gearing up for the annual Roundup in just two days.
“It’s a lot of getting ready for all of the folks coming to the park. The park is going to see a big influx of people. The buffalo are ready. They are in the southeast corner of the park already but now we are starting to get the big top tents for the food, we are starting to get ready for the arts festival, everything like that,” Lydia Austin, Visitor Services Coordinator, said.
“We have to gage our riders and see how they do around the buffalo and then our primary goal is to keep the buffalo safe and get them round in,” Jim Straight, Rider, said.
This year’s big event will have 1,400 bison being rounded up by about 60 riders.
“There’s everything from ranchers from South Dakota to people from all over the United States that ride here and it’s just fun to see them and see the reactions. There are a lot of people that have never been around buffalo, let alone ever chased buffalo so it’s fun to see their reactions and it’s always a good time,” Straight said.
With gates opening before sunrise, hundreds of cars line up for miles at Custer State Park.
“Come with a dose of patience, a smile, with coffee and breakfast, bring something to come with you and hangout with on the prairie. That is honestly my favorite part is coming down to the prairie that morning and watching the sunrise and just get to enjoy the quiet before the herd starts coming down,” Austin said.
Gates for the Buffalo Roundup open at 6:15 Friday morning. The riders will start rounding up the bison around 9:30.