BROKEN BOW—Large events and concerts? It has been a while since any such things occurred locally due to COVID-19 and state Directed Health Measures (DHMs). However, now that the Loup Basin Public Health Department (which includes Custer County) has entered into Phase 4 of DHMs, outdoor gatherings are able to hold 100% occupancy.
This means the typical evening entertainment at the annual Custer County Fair is able to take place and includes the 50th Annual Tuffy Winberg Memorial Free Pit BBQ, the 22nd Annual Custer County Classic Bull Riding, Ultimate Bullfighter, a Ned LeDoux concert, and the 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction.
Matt Thomas and Jami Anderson spoke to KCNI/KBBN on behalf of the annual Free Pit BBQ which is being held via drive-thru in response to unknown COVID-19 restrictions during the planning phases.
They are asking patrons to enter into the fairgrounds from the north off of Memorial Drive to avoid Highway 2 traffic and the railroad. Volunteers will be directing cars to stay to the north in the fairgrounds, west of the horse barns, and then head east on the road south of the Shooting Sports Building and the Grandstands where they will be given their drinks, ice cream bars, and BBQ sandwiches.
The BBQ will go from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27.
Jami Anderson said approximately 140 BBQ volunteers have worked hard adjusting plans amid COVID-19 in order to keep the fair feeling like fair and are planning on feeding approximately 2,500 people this year.
“I really appreciate everybody that stepped up and said they would still do it. We couldn’t do it without them!” Jami Anderson said.
Travis Schauda told KCNI/KBBN this year’s bull riding event could be “one of the best shows we’re ever going to have!” The bull riding will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Trotter Arena. He said the show will feature a big screen, American flag-carrying sky diver, rodeo clown, and 34 bull riders from more than 10 different states, plus an additional surprise.
“It’s always been our desire to try to outdo the previous year. “We’re not here to make money, we’re here to provide entertainment value for this community and kind of try to push as much as the sponsors will allow and the budget will allow, we kind of try to push that a little harder and higher every year. It’s a challenge to do so but it’s kind of a fun challenge,” Schauda said.
During the Get Up and Go Breakfast Show on July 23, Michelle Nelson and all of fair event guests emphasized there would be zero possibility of putting on these events without the generous support of sponsors and donors.
Josh Call said 12 bull fighters will be coming to the Ultimate Bullfighter event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night for an action-packed, two hour show. He said the athletic ability of all the bull fighters is fun to see and the crowd will be very entertained
“It’s just great to come into the community and put one of these events on,” Call said.
Brad Miller discussed the Ned LeDoux concert and said some luck was involved in getting Ned to Custer County. Miller said local businesses were anxious to sponsor the full production concert this coming Wednesday night at 8 p.m.
“People are excited about it!” Miller said.
“We can’t wait so show up and do what we do! We’ve been stuck at home for a while so we’re excited to come to Broken Bow and play a show,” Ned LeDoux told KCNI/KBBN’s Brent Apperson last week.
Regarding the county fair as a whole, Custer County Extension educator Troy Walz said things have been changing every day when making plans but staff and volunteers are encouraging social distancing and sanitizing to keep 4-H students and their families safe.
“Our goal is to keep all of the 4-Hers and their families safe,” Walz said.
The 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday Walz asks buyers to support the kids and to reserve a spot with a local packing facility. The auction will continue as normal but will be encouraging social distancing.