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The biggest cattle show in North Dakota begins in Valley City on Thursday at the Winter Show Event Center.
The North Star Classic kicks off on Thursday afternoon with a BBQ social for vendors and entrants and continues through Dec. 2.
Numbers for the cattle show are up, according to Winter Show board member Dawn Riley. Contestants should note, shows that had previously been held on Thursday, including the pen show, will be held on Saturday this year. The open show will be held on Friday.
Another change for this year is more commercial vendors including some selling womenâ€™s and childrenâ€™s items.
For the first time, the North Star Classic will offer free beef cooking classes, complete with samples, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
On Friday evening, a dinner show will be held at the Valley City Eagles Club featuring comedian Gary Brightwell who has opened for comedians including Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Jeff Dunham, Tim Allen, Jerry Seinfeld and others. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Prices begin at $35 per person. Attendees must be over 21.
Saturday will start with a free-will pancake breakfast, then a consignment auction in the main arena. Pen shows and sales will go on all day Saturday.
Also all day Saturday, a â€śGuess the Weightâ€ť contest will replace the â€śBreeders Cup Jackpot.â€ť Contestants can buy a ticket and guess the weight of three animals. One-half of the tickets sales will go to the winner and the other half will go to a scholarship fund.
The juniorsâ€™ competition, Rileyâ€™s favorite event, will show on Sunday.
â€śItâ€™s interesting to see kids pampering their cows with hairspray and blow driers,â€ť Riley said.
The North Star Classic began in 2000 and has grown into the largest show of its kind in the state, according to the North Dakota Winter Show website. For more information on the North Star Classic cattle show, visit the Winter Show Website at www.northdakotawintershow.com.