Bronc ride as well as wagon train

"Originally, there were mixed thoughts in the community about the Matched Bronc Ride. Now it's like it has always been here. Maybe this Scotty Philip Memorial Wagon Train will become the same thing," said out-going Philip Chamber of Commerce President Kent Olson.

The Monday, December 13, meeting of the chamber began with business and much discussion, before the meeting turned to its annual Christmas party.

The chamber officers for 2011 were nominated and voted in. The are Ron Larson as president, Brit Miller as vice president, Matt Reedy as treasurer, Stacey Pinney as secretary and Kent Olson in the advisory capacity of past president.

The attendees agreed to put forth possible grant money for individuals and families who are interested in attending the educational course entitled, "Agritourism: your next cash crop?" that will be presented in Kadoka. The course will begin Tuesday, January 11, and will meet every Tuesday for five consecutive weeks, ending on February 8. Classes will be held at Kadoka restaurants.

The last such course had 34 participants, from which 14 new businesses were started in the region. For more information about a grant from the chamber, contact one of the officers.

With the involvement of the chamber in the planned wagon train that will start from Philip July 17, Olson stated, "The Matched Bronc Ride is still there. The dance later that night presented by the chamber is still there. Now, there will be two separate opportunities for local businesses. The chamber may be spread a little thin, but that's okay. It's a win-win situation."

The various committees have been created and the people chairing them have been selected. The members of those many committees are not limited to chamber members. Many local residents will be contacted and asked to lend ideas and a hand.

Glenn Parsons said, "We've caught up to organization done by the Fort Pierre organizers of the wagon train. A few weeks ago they were a few months ahead in preparations than we were. The local Horizon's Marketing Group has been striving for a branding, a labeling, for Philip. It's kind of hard to get away from Scotty Philip. This could be our best chance to accomplish a branding."

Friday, July 15 will be a set up day. The 350 registered outriders who will be in the wagon train will arrive in Philip. Saturday, July 16, will be the heavy day with entertainment, games, a parade, an street dance and a host of other activities and interests. Sunday, July 17, the wagon train will begin its journey to Fort Pierre. It will arrive there on the anniversary of Scotty Philip's death.

The chamber has been asked to sponsor a meal, probably the Sunday breakfast, for the wagon train outriders. Other group, organizations and businesses are asked to offer ideas for other activities. Plans are for a huge tent to cover most of South Center Avenue for many of the weekend's functions.

Invitations will be going out to Philip's neighboring communities to join the weekend. Historians, western enthusiasts, mountainmen, and all others will also be invited. Parsons said that Ted Turner, media-mogul, local landowner and buffalo producer, may be part of the wagon train. "We really want to get the school, and everyone else, involved," said Chip Kemnitz.

The individual committees will add members and ideas, plans and preparations.

The next meeting for the Philip Chamber of Commerce will be at 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 10, at the 73- Saloon.