Beetle burn just another example of Custer at its best

In last week’s issue of this very newspaper, we had a 56-page issue highlighting the best of all things Custer and Hill City. It’s not hard to fill, because of all the great things that go on in this community. It’s only fitting then, that the release of that special issue timed up with the annual Beetle Burn, as it is a great example of one of the wonderful events that takes place in Custer, powered by a group of volunteers who work diligently behind the scenes to pull off the spectacle that is now attended by thousands of people and no doubt contributes valuable business to the community at a time of year when many towns have simply rolled up their sidewalks.
That’s not what we do in Custer, though. Powered by our greatest asset, our people, and a wonderful Custer Area Chamber of Commerce, there is seemingly something going on every month of the year in this town. It would not be possible without the army of volunteers, the chamber and a thriving business community. From a grassroots poke at the then-rampant mountain pine beetle infestation to the “mark this on your calendar” event it is now, the burning beetle is yet another example of what our people can do when they put their mind to it. It’s truly a wonderful thing to behold.
The burning beetle is just so wonderfully unique. Where else can you see a mob of “villagers” marching with torches (and we always see a pitchfork or two) to the beetle effigy, destined to show him who is boss. Best of all, this mob of villagers isn’t an angry mob, and they mean nobody an ounce of harm. This is just some good old-fashioned fun on a cold January evening.
We take our hats off to the entire committee who put together the event, including the hearty souls who build the beetle every year just to see their hard work go up in flames.
If you think about it, volunteers are what make so much so possible. Whether it’s the Gold Discovery Days Committee, or those who volunteer their time for the children’s fair during the July 4 festivities, or volunteer at The Storehouse, or volunteer at the myriad other events that happen in Custer, these people are the heart and soul of all the events that go off without a hitch. None of them seek glory or fortune. Rather, they are just happy to pitch in on something that is for the betterment of the town.
Thanks to all you volunteers, and we look forward to the next event in Custer. Restaurant Week isn’t too far away.


User login