Richmond’s Black and White Days, 96 years and counting

A long-standing tradition continues this week in Richmond with the 96th annual Black and White Days. Richmond Mayor Mike Hall says there is a cattle sale each night through Thursday then lots of family activities on Friday and Saturday, including bands, movies at the park, a chuck wagon breakfast and more. Saturday’s traditional horse pull and horse show, however, have been postponed due to the threat of an equine herpes virus. Black and White Days Chairman Jeff Young says the largest cattle show west of the Mississippi is going on right now and Thursday is the night for the big cattle sale. “It’s the main sale that they have,” Young says. “People come from all over. That’s the whole reason many of them show their cattle is to also have this sale so they can sell the cattle and buy cattle and be able to have that process.” Young says these kinds of events are getting more and more rare. “These smaller towns with the shows with animals that have been going on for generations and generations are slowly dissipating out,” Young continues. “Richmond has been lucky enough that we’ve had the type of success that we’ve had with the type of people who support it and the different chairs that are able to put these programs together.” Hall says the city’s annual event is full of history. “It’s one of the longest running cattle and Holstein shows west of the Mississippi,” Hall said during an interview on KOOL 103.9. “It’s been a big part of Richmond City tradition and a good time for family and neighbors to get together and join in the festivities.” While the event is hosted in Richmond and features local talent, Hall says it is more than just a local event. “We draw cattle in for this show from all across the western United States and Canada,” Hall explained. “Different farmers will bring in cattle, some of those will be sold at the Heritage sale on Thursday evening, May 19th. Others are brought in to participate in the cattle show and the judging contest that goes on. “It’s a good time for some of the farmers to get together and trade pedigrees and show off what they’ve been doing and what their farms have produced.” Young invites the community to participate in all the other activities throughout the week in Richmond, most of them taking place at the Richmond City Park. Mayor Hall says the highlight is the Black and White Days parade Saturday at 5 p.m. “It’s my understanding that that parade actually in the early days of Black and White Days was when the farmers would basically parade their cattle back to the farms,” Hall said. “People would stand and watch the cattle go back to where they came from, the individual farms in the area. That was held of course at the end of the weekend and that’s one of the reasons why the parade is held when it is.”

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