Rosebud Fair and Wacipi Photo Gallery Photo Gallery

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The annual Rosebud Fair, Wacipi and Rodeo is held each August at the Rosebud Fairgrounds in Rosebud, South Dakota. The annual Wacipi (powwow), 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.

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The Origins Of The Rosebud Fair BY VI WALN, SICANGU LAKOTA
The first tribal celebration held at Rosebud was in late summer of 1876 after the Sicangu Lakota Oyate learned of the June 25 annihilation of General George A. Custer and the 7th Calvary. It was a victory celebration to honor many Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors who fought in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The Akicita also carried home the personal flag of the fallen General Custer along with several troop guidon flags.

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In the 135 years since the Battle of the Little Big Horn took place, the US Army has never attempted to claim the captured flags from Indian Country. In 1984 Francis White Bird, Sicangu Lakota tribal member and Decorated Vietnam Veteran, had replicas of the captured flags made. A ceremony was held at Fort Meade in Sturgis to dedicate the flags. The flags were carried in the grand entry at the Rosebud Wacipi that year for the first time and Mr. White Bird gave the history of them and the celebration’s origins. The Lakota descendants present that day were proud to be part of a waktegli waci or victory dance.

On the first day of the fair, there would be a morning charge. Many young men and women would mount their horses for a long charge through camp. Lakota victory songs were sung and the women sounded their trill. The Wacipi was held for people to dance and enjoy themselves. Other ceremonies, such as a young woman’s coming out celebration or other feasts to honor loved ones, were also held during the Wacipi.

And when sacred ceremonies were taken underground after being outlawed by the federal government, our people would sometimes conduct them under the cover of the annual celebration so as to avoid detection. I remember listening to the story of a kettle dance held during the Wacipi. A late Sicangu elder witnessed this ceremony as a child. She spoke of watching a big crowd surround her older relative as they took part in the ceremony.; margin-bottom: 15px;”>View Rosebud Fair, Wacipi and Rodeo Details