Celebrate Independence Day in the Black Hills

Celebrate Independence Day in the Black Hills

Every year when America celebrates our independence, communities come together with parades, festivals, and of course, fireworks. The Black Hills are no different, but what would you expect from a region known for our fascination with American presidents?

Belle Fourche leads the pack — both in longevity of their celebration and the sheer size of their events calendar. They’re hosting the 102nd annual Black Hills Roundup Rodeo this year from June 30 through July 4. You’ll find all your favorite rodeo events, not to mention a carnival, fashion show, and Miss Black Hills Roundup competition. If fireworks are what you seek, they host the largest display in the hills! Catch the show on July 2 and 3 starting at 10 p.m.

Every year in Rapid City, Post 22 baseball hosts their Firecracker Tournament, followed by fireworks after the last game — around 10 p.m. This year is no different, but it’s the first season in their newly renovated stadium. Take your family out for a day of fun watching America’s favorite pastime and then enjoy one of the best firework shows in town. If your kids get restless watching baseball, Storybook Island is just up the street so you can easily break up your day.

The city of Rapid City also hosts an annual display. This year it’s on July 4 and starts right at dusk at the Executive Golf Course. You can see the display from almost anywhere in downtown, but Founder’s Park is the closest. It’s a great excuse to spend the day downtown before grabbing some dinner and watching the show.

If you want to get out and about in the hills, communities all over the region are hosting celebrations all weekend long. Custer hosts their Old Time Country Fourth of July the 2–4, including arts and crafts and a children’s fair. Fireworks shoot off from Pageant Hill at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, but you can see them from almost anywhere in town.

Hot Springs also hosts a weekend full of events, starting with their street dance Friday night. You also have a chance to run a mile, 5k, or 10k, race your favorite rubber duck in the annual firequacker race, or watch their parade through downtown on Sunday. Fireworks are on Saturday, July 3 at dusk.

If you’re looking for a unique fireworks display, Lead takes the cake. Their Gold Camp Jubilee Days celebration goes all weekend, including a pie social, poker tournament, live music, and a family-friendly fair on Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks start at dusk on Sunday, July 4, over the open cut mine. You can get a fantastic view of the action from almost anywhere on that side of town, and the mine provides an incredible backdrop.

A hallmark of Black Hills 4th of July celebrations is air power; the mighty B-1 usually makes an appearance by flying over community parades. Keep your eyes peeled as the holiday approaches for the official schedule, but even if you don’t attend a parade, you’re likely to see crews as they transit between towns.

No matter if this is your first 4th of July in the Black Hills or the last before you PCS, we encourage you to explore a new community’s celebration this year. From fairs and rodeos to carnivals and concerts, you’ll celebrate our nation’s independence like a true South Dakotan.