HURON, S.D. (KELO) — A town in eastern KELOLAND is getting visitors from different parts of the world.
Huron is hosting the National Junior High Finals Rodeo for a second year in a row.
Business is heating up at the Lodge Steakhouse and Lounge.
“The crowds are picking up quite a bit,” server Traci Burger said.
That’s because the Huron restaurant has more people to serve this week with a major rodeo in town.
“Lots of money being spread in the town, which is good for the community,” Burger.
The competition comes with 1,150 contestants alone.
“You’ve got brothers, sisters, moms and dads, grandma and grandpa all following along with this rodeo journey that they’re taking them on,” NHSRA Digital Media Specialist Gary Hawkes said.
Overall, the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau estimates the rodeo is bringing an extra 5,200 people to town.
This will give you some perspective on just how big this event is. The National High School Rodeo Association says there are more than 800 golf carts on the grounds this week and nearly 1,100 campsites are being used.
Competitor Emilee Legg and her family traveled all the way from West Virginia.
“It’s cool. It’s different than home,” Competitor Emilee Legg said.
Not only are the kids and their families coming from all over the U.S., but also Canada, Mexico, and Australia.
“It’s the chance for these kids to become world champions,” Hawkes said.
And it’s the chance for Huron to give the world a taste of what it has to offer.
“It’s a nice scene, a nice change of scenery,” Burger said.
Local tourism officials say the rodeo is estimated to have a direct economic impact of at least $2.2 million.
The rodeo started on Sunday and runs through Saturday.
It will be held in Des Moines next year.