"" Writer's Wanderings: Another Road Trip Stop - The Corn Palace

Friday, September 29, 2017

Another Road Trip Stop - The Corn Palace

In 1892, the city of Mitchell built its first corn palace as a way to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate.The palace was to be a gathering place where city residents and their rural neighbors could enjoy a fall festival with stage entertainment. It would be a celebration to top off the growing season and harvest.

In 1905 a second palace was built as the festivities outgrew the old one, only to be followed by a third building built between 1919 and 1921 when the second one proved too small as well. In the 1930s steps were taken to recapture some of the character of the original Corn Palace and minarets and kiosks of Moorish design were added.

Today the Corn Palace is more than just a building where the Corn Palace Festival continues to take place each year in late August. It is also a venue for many other celebrations and some sports events such as high school basketball. But its charm goes way beyond the inside activities.

Each year the Palace is redecorated with naturally colored corn, grains, and native grasses. There are thirteen different colors or shades of corn including green corn. A different theme is chosen each year and the murals are designed around it.The Corn Palace is known around the world as a folk-art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota.

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