Locals call them "summer chuckwagon suppers," typically consisting of beef or chicken, potatoes, coffee or lemonade, and live cowboy music. Oh -- and baked beams are always served, integral to both supper and entertainment. Because if you're a cowboy musician and you want to crack a joke or two between songs, and your audience has just eaten baked beans, well, the gags pretty much write themselves. While the humor never approaches high-brow caliber, it does eventually rise above flatulence, and the singing and guitar picking are always good. You'll find chuckwagon suppers at Fort Hays on highway 16 between Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, and at the Circle B Cowboys' venue on highway 385 north of Pactola lake, and in Custer State Park.
Paul writes about the Black Hills for in-flight airline publications, academic magazines, South Dakota Magazine, public TV, newspapers and websites. He is the author of five books, all Black Hills themed. He lives in the Black Hills. He's obviously no Renaissance Man with varied interests, but if the Black Hills are your thing, he's your guy.
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