About the Fair

The 146th Annual Rosebud Fair, Wacipi and Rodeo will be held  August 24-28th, 2022 at the Rosebud Fairgrounds in Rosebud, South Dakota.  The Annual Wacipi (pow wow), fair and rodeo is held each year, beginning on the fourth Thursday in August, ending on Sunday.   This event has long been a favorite stop on the pow wow trail where generations of Lakota have gathered to celebrate their proud culture.  This event provides an opportunity for relatives from afar and near to reconnect with friends and love ones, reminisce, and share stories of the joys in life.  This celebration literally serves as an essential conduit in the continued exercise of our Lakota traditions and culture from one generation to the next.

In the late summer of 1876, a victory celebration was held to honor Warriors returning from the Battle of the Little Bighorn. 

 

This celebration has become an annual tradition and progressed into what is now known as the Rosebud Fair and Wacipi (pow wow).  The celebration features dance contest during the Wacipi, special contests before the grand entry or during supper breaks, youth rodeo on Thursday August 25, 2022, adult rodeo  on August 27-28th, Fast Pitch Tournament, Women’s Softball Tournament, Little League Tournament, carnival, parade, garden contest, road run, mud races and other numerous events.  We welcome and hope that you will attend our celebration this year.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is hosting their annual celebration this week. Rodeos, wacipi, mud race, hand games, softball games, parades, carnival, food vendors and horse races are some of the activities happening on the fairgrounds.  It is said this celebration was established to honor the warriors who returned victorious from the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn. There are differing accounts as to when this celebration was first held. People also say the celebration wasn’t always held in Rosebud.

It doesn’t really matter when or where the first celebration was held, what matters is that it was an honoring of our ancestors who defeated the US Army and captured their flag. Lakota oral history accounts, shared over the last 141 years, tell us that there were 5 or 6 guidon flags taken from the fallen soldiers. America never did come to ask for their flags back.

Francis White Bird, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, had replicas of those captured guidon flags made several years ago. Those guidon flags are carried by the Sicangu Lakota Warriors at the wacipi during the Rosebud celebration. A special victory dance is also held during the wacipi to remember our ancestors who defeated General Custer and his troops in 1876.

Some of us know why Rosebud Fair is held every August. There are Lakota people who listened to elders tell about how the fair was organized long ago. Our great-grandparents were self-sufficient and came to camp at the fair with everything they needed. Tents, wood, water, food, bedding, tools, dishes, utensils, etc. were all packed in their wagons.

Lakota elders also tell of ceremonies held at those early Rosebud Fairs. This was during the time when our ceremonies were against wasicu law. People were once jailed for participating in ceremony. One elder told of witnessing a kettle dance during the fair. Our ancestors were smart, they knew how to keep our ceremonial way of life alive and hidden during the darkest times in our history.

Today, many Sicangu Lakota people are oblivious to the history of Rosebud Fair. Contemporary Lakota society isn’t focused on teaching our people about their history. Nevertheless, we appreciate the individuals who’ve worked hard over the years to ensure the Sicangu people know the origins of Rosebud.

The tribe does sponsor free meals at the wacipi for everyone to partake in. There are also some tribal programs sponsoring meals for our children. Look for a booth with Rosebud Police officers serving hot dogs and chips for children over the weekend.

Danielle Burnette, RST Fair Manager, is doing fundraising for this year celebration.  We do raffles, Fast Pitch Tournament (poster on the website under events), looking for donators for Championship Jackets for the Wacipi, looking for In Memory Of or In Honor Of for the prize money on the categories of the Wacipi, looking for donation or In Memory Of or In Honor Of for the Rodeo Buckles for each Champion events, looking for In Memory Of or In Honor Of for the Championship jackets for the Men’s Fast Pitch and Women’s Softball Tournaments and looking for donations In Memory Of or In Honor Of for the trophies of the Mud Races and Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament and Women’s Softball Tournament.

The people and business donators of these items listed above will get recognition at the events, will be on the website www.rosebudfair.com and on the Facebook page for the Rosebud Fair & Wacipi.  The business donators can send or we will make a banner to be hung at the Rodeo grounds, Wacipi grounds or any of the events that they have donated too.  If you would like to be a proud supporter of the 144th Annual Rosebud Sioux Tribe Fair & Wacipi, please contact Danielle Burnette @ (605) 319-1854 or email to danielle.burnette@rst-nsn.gov.

We want everyone to have a good time and to be safe.