- Associated Press - Monday, August 18, 2014

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (AP) - A western South Dakota town announced it would like to continue hosting the state high school rodeo finals.

The Black Hills Pioneer (http://bit.ly/1pB5ZZA ) reports that Belle Fourche wants to maintain its hosting duties after its contract ends next year. The town has hosted the annual state finals since 2006.

Rita Pazour, executive director of the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, said the event does wonders for the local economy.

“Businesses say it is one of their best revenue weekends of the summer,” she said. “They do better that week than during the Black Hills Roundup.”

Pazour thinks the rodeo finals mesh well with the community’s Western flavor and way of life.

“Rodeos are what we do here,” she said. “It’s been that way for almost 100 years.”

South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Board President Barry Knippling said Belle Fourche has done a great job hosting finals.

“They have a beautiful facility, and it’s in a great location,” he said.

Knippling said any community interested in hosting the event can apply. He said Watertown and Fort Pierre have asked about hosting but haven’t submitted applications.

The South Dakota High School Rodeo Association will meet at the end of September to decide where the event will be hosted for the next three years.

___

Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com