Welcome to Fur Trade Days
On behalf of the City of Chadron, we invite you to join us in experiencing the many amenities of our great city, one of which is the annual Fur Trade Days celebration. This is the 39th year for this event, which was recognized by the Nebraska Department of Tourism as 2014 Nebraska Outstanding Event for communities with populations less than 10,000. We are very proud of that honor! In addition, Fur Trade Days was also selected as Northern Panhandle's Best Community Festival two years in a row - 2014 and 2015.
While you are here, please take time to check out our restaurants, shops and stores, as well as the City parks , Municipal Pool and great sports facilities. Not only does Chadron have a lot to offer, but the entire northwest Nebraska Panhandle abounds in all types of interesting, educational and recreational opportunities. To name a few: Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron State Park, Fort Robinson State Park, Carhenge of Alliance, Dawes County Historical Museum, Mari Sandoz Center and many, many more! We hope that your visit is memorable, and that you and your family will return.
Paris Fisher, Mayor
The Community of Chadron welcomes you to an unforgettably unique experience – Fur Trade Days. Chadron, located in the northwest corner of Nebraska, was named for the French fur trader Louis Baptiste Chartran, and offers a weekend filled with history, rendezvous, entertainment, down-home hospitality, great food, and lots of fun! There is something for everyone and a chance to see neighbors and make new friends. It’s a FURociously good time!
Fur Trade Days Parade
Fur Trade Days 39th Annual Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 11 and proceeds down Main Street from Tenth to First. A Kiddie Parade will precede the main parade at 9:45 and progress from Fifth to First Streets. Get a good seat and enjoy the excitement.
The Chadron York Rite Bodies will once again host a pancake feed at the Masonic Temple on Saturday and Sunday, July 11-12, from 7 a.m. to noon. What a great way to prepare for a day at the parade and Traders’ Market!
The Bordeaux Creek Fur Trade and Muzzleloading Association’s Rendezvous, located 3.5 miles east and 8 miles south of Chadron, will open Thursday, July 9, for camp setup. The camp is always open to the public, but Saturday, July 11, 1 – 5 p.m., is the best time to catch the major activities. Enjoy muzzleloading shoots, tomahawk and knife throwing contests, archery, and plenty of carousing afterward. Check out the fur, handicrafts, bead work and other period items offered for sale by traders.
Shuttles to Buckskinners' Camp Available
Shuttle vehicles will again be transporting visitors to the primitive camp on Saturday, July 11, starting at 1 p.m. and ending about 4 p.m. (Ending time depends upon visitor traffic.) Shuttles will leave from the north side of the Courthouse on 4th Street. There is no charge for the ride.
It is an excellent opportunity to see Buckskinners in their natural environment without having to be concerned about road conditions. Individuals may also visit the camp via personal vehicles during the weekend, but preferably on Saturday afternoon. The road is a little rough, and caution is urged. (Not recommended for vehicles with low clearance.)
The camp features many different types of lodging as well as trade blankets. Buckskinners are always ready to sell or trade. It's a step back into history.
Historic Flag Ceremony
Be sure to see the dramatic presentation ceremony of the flags of the many nations involved in America’s fur trade Friday evening, July 10. Following the ceremony, the evening will continue with songs by the Black Hills Blend Barbershop Quartet. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening with neighbors and friends at the Courthouse Lawn.
Black Hills Raptor Center
Special guest appearance! On Friday, July 10, the Black Hills Raptor Center will bring birds of prey along with an array of educational displays for a meet and greet at the Traders’ Market from noon to 6 p.m., and a special presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Courthouse gazebo.
Chamber Buffalo Burger BBQ
Immediately following the parade on Saturday, July 11, the aroma of grilled buffalo burgers and music will fill the air on the courthouse lawn. The burgers are sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites and sell out fast, so come early. The First Congregational Church Ice Cream Social is just a few steps away.
Ice Cream Social
The First Congregational Church hosts an ice cream social after the parade on Saturday. Come enjoy homemade ice cream and other treats.
The Fur Trade Days Ranch Rodeo will be Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Dawes Co. Fairgrounds. This years events include the Cowboy Relay, Stray Gathering, Wild Cow Milking, Ranch Bronc Riding & Team Branding.
For entries please call 308-430-8461. Entry fees are $500 per team. There will be $1000 added money.
We will feature Mutton Busting this year. Sign ups will be taken Saturday, July 11 from 4:30 - 5 p.m. on the north side of the arena beside the rodeo office trailer. Entries will be limited.
For more information please call 308-430-5041
The Rotary Colter Run
In 1811, mountain man John Colter ran 300 miles in about 11 days to get away from Blackfeet Indian pursuers. On Saturday, July 11, to commemorate the feat of this brave man, the Rotary Club will sponsor a 5K and 10K run, and a 2 mile fun walk. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at Chadron State College Armstrong Gym, with the run beginning at 7:30 a.m.
World Championship Buffalo Chip Throw
The Buffalo Chip Competition will be held at the corner of Fourth and Main at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, with registration beginning at noon. These are real buffalo chips and whether you throw over or underhand, selecting just the right chip is an art all by itself. After all the scores are calculated for each of the categories, first, second, and third places will receive Gold, Silver, and Bronze Chip Plaques to memorialize their accomplishments. Chadron Record photo by Linda Teahon
Museum of the Fur Trade
Visit the Museum of the Fur Trade, 3 miles east of Chadron on Highway 20. A newer exhibit, The Voyageur, highlights the men who transported trade goods, equipment, important passengers and furs to and from market by canoes. A 36-foot birchbark canoe that would have carried a crew of 6 to 14 and would have had a load capacity of 6 tons highlights the exhibit. Open daily 8-5 p.m. during the summer. Admission $5 (17 and under - free). www.furtrade.org.
4th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour
You know Chadron has a history, but do you know about all of the wonderful characters that made the town what it is today? Be sure to attend the Greenwood Cemetery Tour on Saturday, July 11, to meet some of the people from our past. Come meet Ben Loewenthal, C.F. Coffee, Peter Nelson, Mary Woodard (AKA Red Jacket), and Fannie O’Linn. Reacquaint yourselves with Mary Smith-Hayward. Tickets will be sold at the gates and parking attendants will direct you to the parking areas. Tour times are 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery. Cost for each ticket is $10 and will cover all both tours. People 15 and under are admitted free.
The Chadron Arts Center is sponsoring an Art Exhibit Friday evening and Saturday afternoon during Fur Trade Days. The exhibit will feature works by local artists and photographers that depict the Chadron area and its history. We hope to provide a cool place for people to meet and visit, to share stories, and to enjoy the talents of area artists, whether living or no longer among us. Set-up is Friday, July 11, 4 – 5 p.m. 5-8 p.m. Sharing with cookies and drinks is from 5 – 8 p.m. Viewing will be Saturday, July 11 , from Noon to 4 p.m. Cookies and drinks will be available. This art exhibit is open to the public. We encourage local artists or their family members to bring in works of art (paintings, photos, scrapbooks, etc.) to be displayed. For more information call Ardith Morse, 308/207-5449.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Make time to see the following characters from Chadron’s past who will be part of the walking tour: Mary Hayward Smith, Ben Loewenthal, Fannie O’Linn, C.F. Coffee, and possibly Red Jacket and Peter Nelson. The tour will be Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m., starting at Blaine Hotel, 2nd and Bordeaux Street. The characters will be interacting with the public.
Trading Stories: A Native American Film Festival
The Chadron Public Library, the Chadron Public Library Foundation, and the Museum of the Fur Trade will be presenting a film festival acknowledging the contributions of the Lakota people to the history of Northwest Nebraska and highlighting contemporary Native issues through film. The three-day festival begins at 5 p.m., Friday, July 10, on the main floor of the Library, and is open to the public at no charge.