NEBRASKAland July 2016

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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10 NEBRASKAland • JULY 2016 owboys, buckskinners and other hearty souls will again revel in northwestern Nebraska culture and heritage during the region's two premier community celebrations, just days apart in early July. They are Crawford's Old West Trail Rodeo and Chadron's Fur Trade Days. The Old West Trail Rodeo, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is in its 70 th year and stands as the centerpiece of one of the region's most popular Fourth of July celebrations. Along with the rodeo, the celebration features a parade down Crawford's historic Second Street and an afternoon of live music and family activities in the city park. A little louder scene can be found outside of the city limits, where race drivers put vehicles to the test in a sprint through the mud. Entering its 40 th year, Chadron's Fur Trade Days pays tribute to the history showcased at the renowned Museum of the Fur Trade just east of the city. The celebration's primitive rendezvous along Bordeaux Creek, for example, takes visitors back in time and provides a snapshot of how the buckskinners of yesteryear lived. Other activities, such as a ranch rodeo and Native American film festival, honor the region's heritage, as do the local actors who bring some of the Pine Ridge's most prominent characters back to life during a tour of the city cemetery. Few events get as much attention as the local Rotary club's annual World Championship Buffalo Chip throw, however. In that event, throwers of all ages square off to take a shot at winning a plaque of golden dung, and perhaps top the event's standing record of 187 feet. The distinctive competition is one of the many activities following the parade at the celebration's hub, the bustling Traders' Market at courthouse square. Among the region's lodging options are the campgrounds and cabins of two state parks – Fort Robinson and Chadron. Each has special activities planned for the respective celebrations. Fort Robinson State Park is the site of the annual Western & Wildlife Art Show, a juried exhibit that features the outstanding work of more than two dozen artists from at least five states. Chadron State Park challenges visitors to show their skills on land and water in the annual Crooked Arrow Obstacle Course and Kiwanis Fur Trade Regatta, a wet and wild canoe race around the park's lagoon. If those competitions don't appeal, maybe visitors will opt for a race by foot in the White River Run or Colter Run. Whether it's bucking bulls or tossing turds, there's surely enough happening at these two celebrations to entertain cowboys, buckskinners and any other drifters who may wander into the Pine Ridge. July 1-4 Crawford Fourth of July Celebration and Old West Trail Rodeo July 6-10 Chadron Fur Trade Days By Justin Haag Old West Trail Rodeo and Fur Trade Days o r t apart i Fur Trade Days parade in Chadron Crawford and Chadron Crawford 4th of July Celebration Old West Trail Rodeo junior princess at Crawford

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