Sweltering summer heat didn’t deter rodeo fans from gathering at the fairgrounds in Wessington Springs for the 18th Annual Foothills Rodeo last weekend, celebrating the return of rodeo after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

After a year without the rodeo, the unofficial kick off to summer began at the time-honored event that featured just under 300 cowboys and cowgirls from across the Midwest.  

Calf roping kicked off Saturday evening events that included goat tying, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, senior men’s breakaway, ladies breakaway, mutton bustin’, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. On Sunday, rodeo performances began at 2 p.m.

Other highlights of the weekend included entertainment delivered by rodeo clown “Stutzy” and “Crazy Cowgirl Trick Riding.” 

Concessions and beverages served up by area churches and the Wessington Springs Volunteer Fire Department kept attendees cool and nourished during both rodeo performances.  

Following Saturday night’s rodeo events, a rodeo dance was hosted by the Prairie Lounge featuring The Union Cattle Band.