LUSK – The small town of Lusk grew immensely in population over the weekend as residents, family, friends and tourists flooded the area to celebrate the annual Legend of Rawhide.
Events kicked off Thursday afternoon, July 8, with the main character rehearsal, cast and crew dinner and dress rehearsal.
The first performance took place Friday, with the pre-show beginning at 7:30 p.m. The flag ceremony started at 8:15 p.m., and the main act rolled on at 8:30 p.m.
Following the performance, county music artist Chancey Williams entertained the crowd with a collection of his works. Williams’ songs include “The World Needs More Cowboys,” “Wyoming Wind,” and much more.
The Closest to the Pin competition kicked off the day Saturday in the fairground’s arena, followed by a volleyball tournament. A pitch tournament and corn hole tournament followed shortly after.
Lexie Dockery and Thomas Painter won the corn hole competition, winning $300, Stuart Skibicki and John Eddy took second, winning $200. Dan Henry Hanson and Ryan Meng rounded out the podium with third place, winning $100.
Cheri Thopson took first place in the pitch tournament, winning $250, while Andrew Kruger and Karen Jassman tied for second place, winning $125 each. Third place was not awarded due to the tie.
Following the pitch and corn hole tournaments, several teams competed in the ranch feed/team driving contest in the arena.
Legend of Rawhide board member Dean Nelson introduced the teams of Ryan Rapp and Dax Dockery, Terry Lou Nelson and Nolan Brott, Dan Cushman and James Cushman, last year’s champion team Pam Leach and Eric Ferrar, Harley Cushman and Wyatt Cushman, and Gregg Stark and Janette Stark.
The teams were tasked to drive their team of draft horses through an obstacle course made of boards with hay, salt licks and feed on them. Upon reaching each obstacle, the team member who wasn’t driving had to pick up the items and place them on the sled.
Rapp and Dockery took first place, while Nelson and Brott toook second place, Dan Cushman and James Cushman third, Leach and Ferrar fourth, Harley Cushman and Wyatt Cushman fifth and Gregg Stark and Janette Stark rounded out the competition with sixth place.
A championship event was held later in the evening. Rapp and Dockery finished first place with a time of 2:14.05, and Nelson and Brott finished second with a time of 2:18.64.
Around 4 p.m., the cast and crew, car show participants, members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association and other parade participants lined up at the fairgrounds.
The parade proceeded past the Niobrara County Hospital and down Main Street. Main Street was lined with people from all over the area to take in the parade.
Gates opened at 7 p.m. for the main event of the evening.
The stands slowly filled to near full capacity by 7:30 p.m., when the pre-show began.
This year’s scholarship recipients were announced and introduced to the crowd.
Abby Kotwitz, Marina Sherwood, Bryn Bruch, Renae Marker, Courtney Rowley, Cali Kline, James Cushman, Riley Shaw and DeAnna West will each receive one of the $500 scholarships.
The American flag, Wyoming state flag and Legend of Rawhide flag were then presented to the crowd on horseback. Three horsewomen displayed their respective flags on horseback during the ceremony.
After the flag ceremony, the Legend of Rawhide performance began.
The production retold the story of a man who shot an American Indian woman while traversing the area in a wagon train bound for California during the gold rush.
The band of Indians demand the other members of the wagon train to turn over the man responsible for killing their Indian Princess. When the members of the wagon train refuse, they Indians attack the wagon train.
The killer then chooses to give his life to protect the wagon train. The killer hands himself over to the Indians who ultimately “skin him alive.”
The killer’s lover and a couple of the members of the wagon train rescue him and they flee the area with the rest of the wagon train.
Following the main performance, Southern Fryed performed for a concert and dance at the fairgrounds.