The 47th Annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup was considered a great success this year. Spectators received the thrill of their life by the great show put on by Chad Kremer, the herd manager at Custer State Park, and the many employees plus volunteer riders. This multi-day event draws people from as far away as Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. There is no other place in the world, where you can sit with 10-15,000 people from around the world and watch nearly a 1,000 bison rumble at up to speeds of 50 mph across the prairie, than in western South Dakota.
Even before the park gates open at 6:15am, the line of cars at the two main entrances are backed up for a mile or two. Steadily, as the traffic flows in all morning, the crowd begins to gather in their favorite spot on the north or south of the park corrals. But don't be late - they close the gates to allow for minimal distraction and problems with viewing around 9/9:30am. You don't want to miss this one!
The morning sun rises in Custer State Park and creates a beautiful backdrop for a breakfast served on site of pancakes, sausage, and hot chocolate!
The staff and volunteers help get the crowd riled up and ready for the main show. Here, Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup long-time volunteer, A.J. Walters, takes questions from the audience. As you can see, the staff and volunteers take good care to provide an excellent show. And in the background, you can see - the tourist buses, literally roll into the park for this show!
And as the time draws nearer to the 9:30-10:00am roundup, the park staff and volunteers get the crowd ready. The take questions, point out the roundup route for newcomers, and even tell a few good-humored jokes.
And then the main event arrives... Oops, guess we'll have to save that for Part II of this series!
Stay tuned for more on the 2012 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup later this week. And don't forget to check out these photographs and more as we begin to add them into our 2012 Buffalo Roundup gallery on the Dakota Visions Photography, LLC website. And while you are at it, join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ , or Twitter. Until next time, we'll see you behind the lens...
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