RUSHMORE -- Formerly known as Days of '78, the Pride and Heritage Days at Rushmore aims to awe its audience this weekend.
Starting with the Lion's Club pork chop feed at 5 p.m. and running through mid-day Sunday with the Little League ball tournament, some of the highlights of the celebration are the returning skid-loader rodeo and the annual parade.
"It's really great," said Sheri Van Der Brink, president of the Rushmore Booster Club and overseer of festival operations. "Everything has been coming together nicely this last week."
Although a last-minute cancellation of a reptile show was a disappointment, Van Der Brink soon received "super exciting news."
"The Great Plans Zoo partnered with the Sanford Children's Hospital and is coming to Rushmore," she said. "They're bringing a tortoise, a snake, a lizard, an owl, hissing cockroaches, and, if the weather cooperates, a hedgehog and chinchilla."
The zoo display will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Although she planned the craft show from top to bottom, Van Der Brink delegated individuals to be in charge of other events.
"It's nice to not have to worry about things, especially when it comes down to the wire," Van Der Brink explained. "I simply ask, and they tell me its all going fine."
In charge of the fan favorite skid-loader rodeo, Gary Brink has his work cut out for him.
"Last year we packed the stands and people were still coming in," Van Der Brink stated. "They loved it."
The skid loader rodeo consists of two partners, one in the bucket of the skid loader and one driving. The driver is blindfolded, and his buddy in the bucket guides him through an obstacle course. Anyone who would like to register a team for the rodeo can call Brinks at 370-2340 to do so, or can register beginning at 3 p.m. the day of the event. Twenty teams will be accepted.
Following the rodeo, the parade looks to be bigger and better than ever.
"We have 41 entrants so far," Van Der Brink said, "There's always a couple that don't register and show up, but considering we had a total of 27 entries last year, this one is looking pretty impressive."
Also looking impressive, the car show is turning out to be one of Pride and Heritage Days' main events.
"It's getting bigger and bigger every year," Van Der Brink said. "We're even bringing motorcycles to the table this year."
The full schedule of events follows:
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Lion's Club pork chop feed, school park
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids carnival and activities, school park
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., craft fair and quilting display, school gym
10 a.m. to noon, car show registration (trophies at 3 p.m.), school park
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Great Plains Zoo exhibit
3 p.m., kids pedal tractor pull, school grounds tennis courts
4 to 5:30 p.m., skid loader rodeo, east side of park, Ludlow Avenue
4 to 9 p.m., Rushmore seniors serving pie and more, senior center
7 p.m., parade, Thompson Avenue
8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., street dance sponsored by ABATE, Main Street
Co-ed softball tournament all day
9 a.m., community worship service, First Presbyterian Church
Noon, Little League ball tournament