Full of corn…The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

The Corn Palace

Open to the public

604 N. Main Street
Mitchell, SD
Finally, back on the road…life sometimes gets busy…and car trips become a luxury, both in time and gas dollars.  But, I find if I don’t “invest” in such seeming frivolities, I get a little cranky and that creative spark starts to dim a bit.  It’s my birthday weekend, and off I go!  
So, it’s a little  early for the Corn Palace  Festival (August 20-24)  but work is definitely underway for the fun and frivolities for the big event. Live “big name” acts like Rick Springfield, Julianne Hough, Lorrie Morgan, and stars from the “Lawrence Welk Show,” as well as Polka Festival, to boot.  Seriously, this is triggering a series childhood blast of memories.  And it is the kick off weekend in Sturgis, so the bikers abound.

Wow wow wow! This place you gotta see.

The original Corn Palace in all it’s grainy goodness, was created in 1892, and called the “Corn Belt Exposition.”  Every year, new murals are designed by local artists on the exterior of this building.  Then the artwork comes to life as thousands of bushels of corn, grasses, wild oats, brome grass, rye, straw and wheat are applied to the entire building.
In June of each year, the previous mural begins to be dismantled, and the new corn murals start to going up in mid summer, so, timing is a bit off for the final product, but it is great, none-the-less.  There are just a few spots still awaiting the final grains, but mmmmm it is good!  Even the birds approve. (This year’s theme is, “Everyday Heroes”  and I hope I get to see next year’s “America’s Destinations”.)
In 1921, Mitchell hosted it’s first boys state basketball tournament inside the Corn Palace, and even recently USA Today has called the building on of the top 10 places in America for high school basketball.  (I get to kill 2 birds with one stone, as I am finishing up my next book on backroads basketball hoops…this just might have to be my  only indoors arena shot!)
The palace inside, is as great as it is outside with the aroma of popcorn wafting through the bleachers (of course!), and a killer gift shop right there at center court!  Much fun…