Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Lemmon Boss Cowman Rodeo & Celebration
Thousands of people will make their way to Lemmon, S.D., this week to celebrate western lifestyles, community, friends and family.
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Boss Cowman Celebration honors Lemmon, S.D. legacy

LEMMON, S.D. – In northern Perkins County, they know community and how to celebrate it.

The Lemmon Boss Cowman Days, July 10 – 14, 2024 brings folks from far and wide to take in day after day of fun times on the prairie. Koreen Anderson is the secretary of the Boss Cowman Rodeo.

“The first Boss Cowman Rodeo was held in 1971,” she shares. “It started with just arena events and over time, has grown to include other events and activities.”

Lemmon’s place in South Dakota history books is larger than life with the man who the community is named for. Ed “Boss Cowman” Lemmon started as a ranch hand in Wyoming at age 13. Soon he was a trail boss, herding Longhorns from Texas to fatten on the rich grasses of the Northern Plains. Lemmon was one of the region’s first cattlemen. He helped form the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, select the route for the railroad, and established the town of Lemmon, South Dakota in northern Perkins County.

“What everyone relates to our town is Ed Lemmon who started the community in 1907,” said Anderson. “He pretty well put Lemmon on the map.  He was the boss of a huge amount of acres in South Dakota.  He was called a trail boss and boss cowman and it’s where the celebration name comes from.”

Events to be enjoyed by individuals and families alike range from car shows to parades and fireworks to rodeos and headline entertainment that includes country music artist Tracy Byrd.

Dale and Mary Kvale, Lemmon, SD
Dale and Mary Kvale

“Each year there are special people in the community who are selected as Boss Cowman Honorees, shared Anderson. “There are a lot of events held in their honor to celebrate them.” She continued, ”We also have a parade on Saturday, fireworks after the rodeo on Friday, concessions and all kinds of entertainment downtown for all ages.”

Members of the community who have contributed to the betterment of the community are recognized. This year’s honorees are Dale and Mary Kvale.

“Dale and Mary definitely deserve this recognition,” observed Anderson, who added, “A unique aspect of their selection is that Dale’s Mother, Father and Uncle were also Boss Cowman Honorees back in 2002. There is now another generation in this same family receiving the honor.”

Sanctioned rodeos during Lemmon Boss Cowman Days are among the most popular in the SDRA/NRCA/NDRA sanctioned rodeo circuits.

“The Boss Cowman Rodeo is traditionally one of the largest in South Dakota in both number of contestants and the amount of dollars that are paid out,” said Anderson.

Specialty events include miniature pony roughstock competitions on Friday and Saturday, mutton busting for younger kids on Saturday night, and on Friday night there is a calf scramble for all ages.

See more information on schedules and ticket prices on Facebook at Lemmon Boss Cowman and the Lemmon Chamber of Commerce

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