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Mitchell, Fulton men recognized at rodeo kickoff event

The 44th annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo kicked off Tuesday night with the annual rodeo mixer.

Brian Hildebrandt, of Mitchell, was inducted into the rodeo’s hall of fame. He was recognized for his hard work and dedication to the Corn Palace Stampede as an athletic trainer for 25 years.

Don Blumenberg, of Fulton, was recognized as the parade marshal for Saturday’s rodeo parade.

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Mitchell’s Main Street. The parade route will travel south on Main to First Avenue, then turn east on First and turn north on Lawler Street, where it will end at the corner of Lawler and Seventh Avenue.

This year’s parade theme is “To Horses, To Horsepower.”

Hildebrandt, who attended Tuesday’s event, volunteers every year and takes care of the contestants as well as spectators, Chairman Jim Miskimins said.

“Brian is always cheerful and happy to get the work done and take care of people,” Miskimins said. “Brian stands out in every capacity and we are very pleased to recognize him and induct him in the hall of fame.”

Hildebrandt is an athletic trainer at the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and is now at Avera Orthopedic Associates as an athletic trainer through the clinic. Hildebrandt was exposed to the rodeo growing up. His father was active within the community, working with the Mitchell Exchange Club.

“It’s very special to me. I’ve been involved in the rodeo since 1991,” Hildebrandt said. “It’s a great committee; they do a great job in Mitchell every year and I enjoy working the rodeo.”

Miskimins said he sees the 44th annual rodeo as a chance to participate in all the events as a community. The golf tournament, the parade and cook-off are some of the main events creating a good social opportunity for the rodeo community, Miskimins said.

“I think the rodeo is the premiere social event of the summer in Mitchell,” Miskimins said.

Blumenberg, who was not at the rodeo mixer, has been instrumental in helping Fulton State Bank thrive as chairman of the board. He lived most of his life growing up on a farm, but has been very supportive of Mitchell’s community, Miskimins said.

“He is worthy of parade Marshal and we are happy to recognize him,” Miskimins said.

The parade will proceed down Main Street as usual; however, people will not be allowed to sit in front of the Corn Palace due to the construction on the building.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at Horseman’s Sports Arena. A slack performance will be at 8 a.m. Friday.