Changes will add to Fourth of July celebration


– By Katie Zerr 

Mobridge residents and visitors are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day with family and class reunions, picnics, fireworks and of course the Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo and parades.

This year’s celebration will feature three performances of the world-famous Sitting Bull Stampede, two parades and extra days of both the Mac’s  Carnival and  using fireworks.

Mac’s Carnival has been a part of the Sitting Bull Stampede for 26 years and has played a major role in making July 2 Kid’s Night special for the little celebrators by giving away 300 ride tickets at the rodeo.

Free cowboy hats will be given to the first 200 kids to enter the gates at the rodeo. There will also be a mutton busting competition at each performance.

On Tuesday, July 2, carnival rides will be reduced by one ticket for kids 12 and under, meaning if a ride is normally four tickets on Kids’ Night it will be three tickets.

The parade and rodeo performances (see accompanying story) are the anchors of the celebration. Former Mobridge Rodeo Association president Ron Landis is being honored as grand marshal at the July 3 and July 4 parades. He was the MRA president from 1998 to 1999.

The MRA will also be honoring a memorial grand marshal for the first time. Ray Grad, the MRA president from 1984 through 1985 will be the first to be honored. While he was president, changes were made to the rodeo grounds to make it safe, cost efficient and an all-around pleasant experience. Grad and the 1985 MRA members replaced the original wooden chutes with new steel ones and the chutes were also moved in closer to the crowd by 15 feet. The organization members also built a new crow’s nest and sound system booth, making the rodeo more enjoyable for the viewers. He was a dedicated president always looking ahead to the next year’s rodeo.

To honor Grad, a riderless horse, the symbol of respect for fallen soldiers, presidents and cowboys, will be led in the parade. The boots are placed backwards on the horse so that the cowboy can look back at his men, family and friends one last time.

Both men will be honored at the parade, and again at the rodeo, where the MRA will present a golden buckle to Landis and Grad’s family.

Parades will start at 4 p.m. on July 3 and 4.

There will be some familiar faces at the rodeo performances as the 2013 rodeo. The announcer will be Scott Grover, returning for his fourth year at the Stampede. Grover said he feels a sense of home in Mobridge due to the fact that everyone is so welcoming, even at his first appearances back in 2010.

He said his goal is to be named PRCA Announcer of the Year. With this in mind he always does his best to entertain and inform the crowd.

Lance McIlvain and Allan Dessel will also be returning to the Stampede for their ninth year of keeping the contestants safe. As bullfighters, both  Dessel and McIlvain made their Stampede debut July 2, 2004. Rodeo crowds have been awed by their skills and cowboys are thankful for the lightning-quick reactions that keep the bulls at bay.

This year the Mobridge Rodeo Association and the One Arm Bandit & Company present Amanda Payne, who follows in her father John Payne’s footsteps. Payne will show off her roundup skills, cracking her bullwhip as she gathers the buffalo then rallies them, not in, but atop a tall trailer that is specially made for all of the Payne family acts. This cowgirl has a lot more tricks up her sleeve that you have to see to believe.

At age 8, Payne’s father started performing at rodeos and she wanted to perform alongside him. Because of the danger involved in the act her father wouldn’t allow her to participate. When Amanda turned 18 he gave his blessing to start her own show. Today Amanda performs in 45 to 100 shows a year.

For the first time, seven-time Dodge Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo barrelman Robby Hodges will entertain the crowd. He has twice been nominated for the honor of PRCA Clown Act and Clown of the Year.

In their ongoing effort of “Preserving the Past for Those Stepping into the Future” the Klein Museum board of directors and staff will present the sixth Mobridge Living History production July 3 and July 4. “Who’s in the News: 1909” will be presented at 10 a.m. both days at Greenwood Cemetery. Tickets are on sale at Homespun and at the museum. A noon lunch of bratwurst, chips and lemonade is included with the ticket and will be served at the museum after each performance.

Area residents will perform the historical re-enactment with Fay Jackman in the role of Della M. Wright Robertson, the first woman to serve as a reporter and editor for the Mobridge News. She will interview the other pioneers who helped settled this area.

Lorraine Anderson will portray her grandmother Clara Anderson, who with her husband Gerhard raised four sons and three daughters on a farm north of Glenham.

Rev. Gary Street takes on the persona of Peter P. Stolzman, who came to Mobridge in 1907. He was a business owner and also served as the first mayor from 1910-1912.

Jeremy Storly will be L. E. Pierce, owner/operator of a modern 29-room hotel, who was instrumental in bringing electricity to the booming community.

Dr. Leonard Linde will portray Francis M. “Doc” Goodman, who with his friend (and later rival) A. H. Brown built many of the buildings on Mobridge’s Main Street.

There will also be a dance on Main Street and the normal excitement that comes with the Fourth of July in Mobridge.

– Katie Zerr –


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