RAPID CITY, S.D. — Dirt – something that probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a rodeo.
As workers of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, or Monument, are gearing up for the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo Rapid City.
The process begins with about 66 dumps truck loads of soil being brought to the Civic Center, which takes a day in itself.
The dirt is taken from the Rapid City Water Reclamation Facility and it’s the same dirt that’s been used for the last 12 years.
It’s created a practice that’s led to smooth process.
“We know what we have and know how much we have for the most part,” said Britt Brown, the Trade Supervisor for the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. “It’s not so much, it takes a lot of the guess work out of it. We add sand to it every year that also helps with the consistency of it, as far as getting packed and just the make up of the dirt.”
The dirt is transported, dumped, and moved by way of dump trucks, loaders, and tractors.
Anybody can just throw dirt on a pile, but the refinement of the top layer of soil that actually is the most important part.
“If we got that little bit of fluff on top, it makes all the difference,” Brown said.
It’s crazy to think that something so small like dirt can play in such an integral role in a rodeo. But, if prepared correctly, the dirt can actually help prevent injuries between animals and athletes.
With water being added, it takes a special process that takes a keen eye to make it just right.
“You don’t want it muddy, but you don’t want it dry either,” Brown said. “There’s a happy common place in between that you just know when you get there.”
Brown says the “take down” process of clearing the arena is much easier than the start of bringing all the dirt in. He says that trucks will arrive Monday morning to begin the removal of the dirt in the arena.