From trying your hand at throwing buffalo dung and historical tours to street dances and carnival rides, Fur Trade Days offers up activities for young and old to enjoy.

Now in its 43rd year, Fur Trade Days begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. Traditional activities will return to the lawn of the Dawes County Courthouse after being relocated last year, but the new format of including downtown street dances and a carnival will continue.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts intends to take in some of the Fur Trade Days events and will see just how far he can toss a buffalo chip at 12:30 p.m. on Main Street in front of the courthouse. Attendees can catch the show after taking in the Fur Trade Days barbecue, also at the courthouse lawn after the parade, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. The barbecue was absent from last year’s event.

The street dances are planned for Friday and Saturday during Fur Trade Days, with Judd Hoos slated to take the main stage Friday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Local favorite The Bar Flies will open for Judd Hoos at 6 p.m.

Judd Hoos is an American Rock Band based in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The band's line up consists of Tyler Bills, Shane Funk, Chris Hornick, and Andy Young.

Judd Hoos is currently on their We Were Young Tour that encompasses 120 dates booked across 10 Midwest states, featuring support shows with Puddle of Mud, Third Eye Blind and Trapt.

The band’s first full length album, “Music in the Dark”, featuring singles “Billboard, “Breathe In”, and “Say My Name” released in 2017. The single “Breathe In” charted 23 on the iTunes new rock single releases in 2018.

Whiskey Bent will play the main stage Saturday night, also from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with Chadron-based Blues Street serving as the opening act at 6 p.m. Whiskey Bent is a five-man band from central Nebraska, performing in Chadron in support of their latest album “Blue Collar America.” The band released its first full-length album in 2014 and is known for its 2012 debut single “On The River” as well as fan favorites “Every Bar’s Got One” “Fireflies” and “Like Him.”

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One of the most sought-after club bands in the Midwest, Whiskey Bent is a regular on the summer county fair and country music festival circuit including stops at the popular Kicker Country Stampede in Manhattan, Kan., and NebraskaLand Days in North Platte. They also appeared in Chadron during the 2018 Bands on Bordeaux summer concert series.

Whiskey Bent writes and performs its own music, and covers a variety of top artists that include Eric Church, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Johnny Cash and more. The band has opened for national acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jake Owen, Jon Pardi, Trent Tomlinson, Kip Moore, Tyler Farr, Josh Turner, Collin Raye, Justin Moore, Blackhawk, Casey Donahew Band, Diamond Rio, and Sawyer Brown.

But no one has to wait until Friday to enjoy music and dancing. The Chamber of Commerce’s Bands on Bordeaux summer concert series kicks off Thursday, just in time for Fur Trade Days. Dirty Word. The band has been performing together since 1998, putting on concerts in Texas, Colorado, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Kansas, Louisiana and more. They have also toured overseas, entertaining U.S. troops. All the Bands on Bordeaux concerts, also scheduled for July 18, July 25 and Aug. 15, run from 6-9 p.m. and are free of charge.

The Fur Trade Days carnival will be relocated to Bordeaux Street this year and will feature more rides and food wagons for carnival-goers to enjoy. Pre-sale carnival tickets are on sale at the Chadron Chamber of Commerce.

Fur Trade Days will also feature the traditional festival activities, including the Rotary Club Colter Run, the Lions Club parade, the Primitive Rendezvous and the Greenwood Cemetery Tours. Make sure to pick up a copy of the Fur Trade Days event guide, available in today’s issue of The Chadron Record, online at www.thechadronnews.com and at locations around town, for a complete schedule.

Added to the official schedule after the deadline for the magazine were the following events:

  • Nightmare Before Christmas comic artist Dan Conner will do signings and sketches at GameChanger July 12-13 from noon to 7 p.m.
  • SYC “Special Youth Challenge” Trap Shoot and free-will donation lunch July 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dawes County Fairgrounds
  • Ta-Da Quilt Shop Sip and Paint outside the 120 in the 100 block of West Second Street July 13 at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is $25.
  • Western Nebraska Horseshoe Pitching Association tournament July 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the horseshoe area in the park at the corner of North Main Street and Belle Fourche Ave. Bring your own horseshoes.

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