With its mad mix of onion domes and minarets, this corn-plastered edifice looks like it was drop-kicked out of czarist Russia. Instead it’s the World’s Only Corn Palace is Mitchell’s premier tourist attraction. Some 500,000 tourists come from around the nation each year to see the uniquely designed corn murals. The city’s first Corn Palace was built in 1892 to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate.
Today, the Corn Palace is more than the home of the corn festival or a point of interest of tourists. It’s a practical structure used for dances, stage shows, banquets, proms, graduations arena for Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University as well as district, regional and state basketball tournaments. USA Today named the Corn Palace one of the top 10 places in America for high school basketball!
Even though the current theme is what I saw last year, the Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses to make it “the agricultural show-place of the world”. The corn murals are stripped at the end of August and the new ones are completed by the first of October. I should be able to enjoy the new murals when I drive back to Michigan in September.
To learn more about this folk-art wonder click here: www.cornpalace.org
Another of the world’s most well-known roadside stops is also on I-90 in South Dakota. When traveling through South Dakota, my family never misses the chance to stop at Wall Drug. It’s hard to believe this started in 1931 as the only drugstore in the state. www.walldrug.com
There’s a conviction of life that begins over again with every summer breeze. Have a great summer.