Flag Time

Patriotism is as much a part of rodeo as the cowboys themselves.

Homage to the Stars and Stripes is always part of rodeo in the US.

We love going to the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo. To us it seems about as authentic as you can get. And it starts days early in the preparation when they put up the Flags at the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo.

Sure there are bigger and louder rodeos with lots of entertainment, but none more authentic.

Here’s where rodeo is the thing and they do it right here.

Every year on the Independence Day weekend and cowboys from around the west ride into Killdeer North Dakota.

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Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo

We usually stop by a few days before the rodeo, and this year crews were getting the grounds ready, and that meant putting up flags all around the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo grounds.

They are flags the everywhere from above the hill, to on shirts and decals all around. 

People here love the United States of America.  And when the Star Spangled Banner opens the even, people do more than just mouth the words, they will sing it along with the tune played on the PA system.  In fact, one year, when the audio cut out during the National Anthem, the crowd continued the song — acapella, loudly. 

When the time comes for them to enter the arena, they do it under a mammoth flag that stands above the rodeo grounds.  And inside the arena, flags greet them.

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We were there the first year of the new flag, when first responders carried in the huge display of red white and blue.  Here’s what it looked like.

99 years

The Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo is 99 years old this year. It is the longest-running professional sanctioned rodeo in North Dakota.

It’s history goes back to a simpler time north of town near what was Oakdale.  We wrote about its history here.

Then, it moved to town.

Now, thanks to a vigorous effort of organizers, the new grounds west of town rival the rodeo grounds of any small town in the west .

Killdeer, North Dakota is only about 1200 people, but the cowboys from around this part of the nation, know the town well and it’s patriotic heart beat. It’s a competitive one-day rodeo and some of the wildest rides entertain the crowds who take their seat on the hillside, just like they’ve done for 99 years.

The weekend includes a queen pageant, a bar-b-que, and of course, the evening ends with a huge fireworks display.

By the end of the day, every heart beats red white and blue. People are proud of the United States of America.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Killdeer, North Dakota?

Killdeer, North Dakota is in the northwest quarter of the state, north of Dickinson on Highway 22.

Where is the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo grounds?

The Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo grounds are west of town on the Highway 22 by-pass.

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