North Dakota Rodeos and Powwows

Experience two key North Dakota cultural traditions

Rodeos and powwows are important parts of North Dakota culture. The dates surrounding the Fourth of July 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 spring 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. Please call ahead for information about these events, as dates are subject to change.

2018 North Dakota Rodeos

March 16-17: Bull-O-Rama, Minot

May 4-5: Dickinson State Blue Hawk Stampede, Dickinson
May 5: Williston High School Rodeo, Williston
May 6: Killdeer High School Rodeo, Killdeer
May 28: Dickinson High School Rodeo, Dickinson

June 2: Bismarck High School Rodeo, Bismarck
June 3:
New Salem High School Rodeo, New Salem
June 13-17: North Dakota High School Finals Rodeo, Bowman
June 29-30:
James River Rodeo, Jamestown

July 1-2: North Dakota Rodeo Association Rodeo, Medora
July 1-4:
139th Annual Mandan PRCA Rodeo Days, Mandan
July 3-4: Killdeer Mountain Roundup PRCA Rodeo, Killdeer
July 5-7: McKenzie County Fair Rodeo, Watford City
July 21: Abercrombie Fire and Rescue Rodeo, Abercrombie
July 23-24: North Dakota Rodeo Association Bull Riding, State Fair, Minot
July 25-26: Ranch Rodeo, State Fair, Minot
July 28-30: Roughrider Days PRCA Rodeo, Dickinson

August 4: Home on the Range Champions Ride, Sentinel Butte

September 8: Watford City High School Rodeo, Watford City
September 28-29: North Dakota Rodeo Association Finals, Watford City 

October 5-7: Y’s Men’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot

2018 North Dakota Powwows

April 14: Woodlands and High Plains Powwow, Fargo
April 20-21: UNDIA Wacipi and Powwow, Grand Forks
May 24-27:
Four Bears Powwow, New Town
June 1-3: 
FM Crossroads Powwow, Fargo
June 10-12: Flag Day Celebration Wacipi, Cannon Ball
June 15-17: Twin Buttes Powwow, Twin Buttes
June 15-17: Paha Yamini Wacipi, Shields
June 21-22: Professional Indian Relays, Parshall
June 21-24: Santee Lucky Mound, Parshall
July 13-15: Arikara Celebration, White Shield
July 19-22: Mandaree Celebration, Mandaree
July 19-22: Fort Totten Days, Fort Totten
August 3-5: Long Soldier Wacipi, Fort Yates
August 9-10: Professional Indian Relays, Parshall
August 9-12: 
Little Shell Powwow, New Town
September 7-9: United Tribes International Powwow, Bismarck

Related Content: