Powwows are a great way to experience Native American culture
Powwows are a great way to experience Native American culture

North Dakota Rodeos and Powwows

Experience two key North Dakota cultural traditions

Rodeos and powwows are important parts of North Dakota culture. July 4 and the dates around there are known as Cowboy Christmas for all the money that can be earned at the rodeos held around the holiday.

Eight seconds seems so long when you're watching a cowboy hang on for dear life. From national professional events to local high school competitions, rodeo isn't just a sport in North Dakota, it's a feel-the-dirt-in-your-teeth way of life. 

The Algonquin word "pau wau" was the Native American word some of the first Europeans associated with dancing. Although pau wau meant "he dreams" to the Algonquins, the term was eventually accepted by Europeans to refer to dancing, later being spelled "powwow." 

Powwows were originally held in the springtime to celebrate the beginning of new life, but are now held throughout the year. The celebrations often have religious significance, but are also a time for people to gather, sing, dance, feast, pray, renew old friendships and make new ones. These celebrations are still an important part of life for many American Indians.

The following is a list of major rodeos and powwows in North Dakota. The list is updated regularly as new events are announced.

2017 North Dakota Rodeos

February 2-4: Extreme Bulls and PRCA Championship Rodeo, Bismarck
March 10-11: North Dakota Winter Show 80th Anniversary, Valley City
March 17-18: PRCA Rodeo, Fargo
June 2-3: Roughrider Rodeo Association, Valley City
June 2-4: Roughrider Rodeo Association, White Earth
June 8-11: State High Schools Rodeo Finals, Bowman
June 23-25: Roughrider Days Rodeo, Dickinson
June 24-25:
Roughrider Rodeo, Dunseith
June 30-July1: Roughrider Rodeo, Jamestown
July 1-2: 16th Annual James River Rodeo, Jamestown
July 2-4: 138th Annual Mandan Rodeo Days, Mandan
July 3-4: PRCA Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo, Killdeer
July 20-30: North Dakota State Fair, Minot (Dates TBA)
July 28-29: Roughrider Rodeo, Maddock
August 3-6: Morton County Fair, New Salem
August 4-5: Roughrider Rodeo, Max
August 5: Home on the Range Champions Ride Rodeo, Sentinel Butte
August 5-6: Roughrider Rodeo, Ray
August 12-13: Roughrider Rodeo, Richardton
August 25-26: Roughrider Rodeo, Montpelier
September 29-30: NDRA Finals Rodeo, Bismarck
October 5-8: Y’s Men’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot
October 20-21: Bowman County Pro Rodeo, Bowman
October 28: Roughrider Rodeo Association Optional Event Finals
October 27-30: Roughrider Rodeo Association Finals 


2017 North Dakota Powwows (Tentative Dates)

April 21-23: UNDIA Powwow, Grand Forks
May 25-28: Four Bears Powwow, New Town
June 2-4: 
FM Crossroads Powwow, Fargo
June 8-11: Twin Buttes Powwow, Twin Buttes
June 10-12: Flag Day Celebration Wacipi, Cannonball (Tentative, dates could change)
June 17-19: Paha Yamini Wacipi, Shields (Tentative, dates could change)
June 22-25: Santee Lucky Mound
July 13-16: Arikara Celebration, White Shield
July 20-23: Mandaree Celebration, Mandaree
July 29-31: Fort Totten Days, Fort Totten
August 10-13: Little Shell Powwow, New Town
September 8-10: United Tribes International Powwow, Bismarck



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