Deadwood’s Wild Bill Days 2017

Every year, Deadwood plans a weekend of entertainment to celebrate the life of good ol’ Wild Bill Hickok.

The town offers free live music, shootouts on the street, canine dock jumping competitions, Cowboy Fast Draw Association (CFDA) shooting contests, and panning for gold for kids.


Friday – DockDogs Competitions

Anyone that had a dog that’s even slightly athletic and likes water, registered them in Deadwood’s annual DockDogs Competition.  People from all over the country registered theirs furry friends to see if and how far they could jump off the dock that was set up at the top of Main Street.

First step was practice.  All of the dogs participating were allowed two practice runs before the actual competition started.  This gave me the opportunity to capture some fun photos.  🙂

This Belgian Malinois practically walked on water during its practice, which told me that they must’ve been one of the competitors that travels with DockDogs around the country.  They didn’t mess around jumping over twenty feet off the dock into the water.  The only problem with these kangaroo-like dogs was that I had to be sure not to let my camera get splashed!  I am happy to say I succeeded.


Among those practicing, there were also dogs with special needs, like this cute guy and his goggles.  They helped protect his sensitive corneas from getting infected by the pool water.  Look at that laser focus though!


Others needed encouragement to take their first plunge.  The whole crowd cheered for those that were scared, which made their jump even more rewarding.  Tail wagging in triumph as they crawled out of the water with toy in mouth.



Trial of Jack McCall

Some may know that Deadwood is famous for the death of Wild Bill.  To keep the story alive, every summer we have a group of actors reenact the trial of Jack McCall, Wild Bill’s cowardly assassin.  Tourists watch what loosely happened in the courtroom after Jack was captured inside OUR building after he shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head at a bar down the road.

During Wild Bill Days, the actors moved their performance to the Main Stage in the middle of Main Street to act out Jack’s sentencing.  Kids were included in the performance, which gave parents the opportunity to take pictures of them with these Wild West impersonators.


History on the Lawn

I’m sure that most of the history junkies were all at the Adam’s Museum lawn on Friday where people were encouraged to bring a lunch and enjoy a storytelling-type lecture, presented by South Dakota Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau Scholar, Phyllis Schrag.  In this sequel to If you Have to Grow Up, it Might as well be in a Small Town, people were taught the history of the importance of preachers in children’s lives and how funerals were just a part of everyday life.

Saturday – Deadwood Karaoke Championships

I didn’t know this, but the Black Hills has some great singers!  When I saw Karaoke on the schedule, I thought, “oh great, how am I going to block out these singers voices?!”

Then they got on stage and I was amazed!  Deadwood doesn’t mess around with karaoke like most bars I’ve seen it in.  They sang classic rock, jazz, metal, you name it!

DockDogs Big Air Finals

Saturday evening was The day where the finalists had their last chance to claim first for the 2017 Big Air Finals!

The crowd anxiously waited as these kangaroo dogs and their toy-throwing assistants took to the dock to jump as far as their little legs could take them.



Many people in the crowd also brought their furry friends to help support those performing.

How cute are these two?



All in all, watching dogs of all shapes and sizes jump off a dock is highly entertaining and a must see, especially if you’re in Deadwood next June!

Sawyer Brown

To top off the weekend full of free entertainment, Sawyer Brown headlined.  Open containers until 10pm, good music, and good people.  What more could you ask for?

Oh, and I didn’t get a video of them playing because the sidewalks were too packed to get down to the stage.  Guess you’ll just have to come visit next year to see for yourself!


Till next time!