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ATTEND THE CUSTER STATE PARK BUFFALO ROUNDUP AND ARTS FESTIVAL

CUSTER STATE PARK– The annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Annual Arts Festival will be held Sept. 27 through Sept. 29.

The weekend activities begin with the Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday near the State Game Lodge. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

"This year's festival will feature plenty of entertainment and activities," said Craig Pugsley, visitor services coordinator for Custer State Park. "Come and spend a day or the weekend with us. We have more than 70 arts and craft exhibitors, as well as western and American Indian artwork and a variety of food vendors."

The festival will kick off both Saturday and Sunday with a pancake feed at 8 a.m. with dancers, cowboy poets and western and American Indian performers to follow. Stringbean and the Harvest Bluegrass Band will perform on Saturday, and D.D. and the Fayrohs on Sunday. The Care Country Cloggers and 7th Calvary Drum and Bugle Corp will perform both days. Festival activities include the cowboy-mounted shooters, a Reptile Gardens program, Birds of Prey program, gold panning and living history demonstrations.

The 14th Annual Buffalo Wallow Chili Cookoff, sponsored by the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held Sunday, Sept. 28. As many as 50 chili chefs compete for cash prizes and trophies. To enter the contest, contact the Custer Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-992-9818.

The Buffalo Roundup begins early Monday morning, Sept. 29. Spectators should arrive between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. For safety reasons, spectators are asked to remain in the viewing area until all the buffalo are corralled, around noon. "Buffalo are dangerous and unpredictable animals, treat them with respect and do not approach them," Pugsley said.

After the roundup, the public is invited to ride the free shuttles into the corrals and watch park staff brand, vaccinate and separate the herd in preparation for the Nov. 15 auction. A chuckwagon, buffalo cookout will be served in the corral area during this time. The cost of the meal is $6.50 per person and includes a buffalo barbecue sandwich, cowboy beans, chips and soft drink. Jasmine Pickner and Mallorie Haley will provide entertainment from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Arts Festival and Buffalo Roundup activities are free, but a state park entrance license is required to enter the park.

To learn more about the roundup and arts festival or to request a brochure, contact Custer State Park (605) 255-4515 or e-mail CusterStatePark@state.sd.us. Or visit the Custer State Park web site at www.custerstatepark.info.

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