Someone You Should Know: Silver Anniversary on Skis

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- It’s a special day for a long-time water ski show in Sioux Falls. The team is celebrating independence day and their 25th anniversary with the biggest and best show they’ve ever put on. Our reporter Miranda Paige spoke to the man who’s kept it all going since day one. He’s someone you should know.

Jim Bruns, Founder of Catfish Bay has always enjoyed performing on the water. He was a skier for SeaWorld in Ohio. He says when he moved to Sioux Falls, there wasn’t anything like that for him.

“I decided I wanted to have a really simple water ski team and it kind of went from practicing a few nights a week and putting on a couple shows in the summer to, we found the lake and kind of God gave us a vision and here we are 25 years later,” said Bruns.

Catfish Bay has grown more than he ever imagined it would.

“It’s actually pretty amazing, when you sit back and think about where we started from and where we are. It’s pretty cool,” said Bruns.

“You know our shows have gotten better over the years. We have refined our show and added things like snowmobiles and flyboards and all sorts of different water ski acts that we didn’t have years ago. It seems like every year we’re adding something kind of fun.”

However, his favorite part since the beginning is the crowds, which have grown every year. Some spectators travel across the country to see what’s nicknamed “the Greatest Show on H20” Bruns’ performers do amazing stunts and comedy on the water, but many aren’t professionals and they don’t get paid.

“A lot of times they’re like, ‘wow, we’ve been to other places and you guys are some of the top,’ but what they don’t realize is it’s all volunteer, so we’ve got kids and families we get them involved and teach them how to water ski,” said Bruns.

That’s what’s makes the experience so special.. They’re now on their second generation of skiers.

” I’ve got skiers including myself that were single and not married in 1994 and are now married and have kids and our kids are skiing in the shows,” said Bruns.

Bruns performs with his daughter.

It’s been a busy 25 years, but he doesn’t plan to slow down.

” We’re hoping to have another 25 years out here and you’ll see changes every year. We hope people come back every year and see our show, kind of make it an annual event, kind of like going to the circus,” said Bruns.

Regular shows are held every Friday evening all summer long. Catfish Bay Is located on Show Place road in Sioux Falls. Tickets are usually about 12 dollars.

 

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