Typical civic centers are used for sporting events, festivals, expos and concerts. In Mitchell, South Dakota, one community building is used for all of these activities. But it is also a tourist destination, bringing in around 500,000 tourists a people. What makes it such an attraction? It’s called the Corn Palace, and its exterior murals and decorations are made out of harvest: milo, sourdock, rye and, of course, 12 different colors of field corn. Even more amazing, the murals change each year.
Each year impressive murals on the outside of the Corn Palace are taken down and new ones are put up. A theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee. Past murals have included Myths, Legends and Fables, Indian motifs, South Dakota History and Founding Fathers.
From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the weekdays, visitors can see the murals being created. Inside, visitors can take a tour and watch a video on the history of the Corn Palace. They can also learn how different colors of corn are grown.
International students in South Dakota will want to see “The World’s Only Corn Palace” It “is an outstanding structure which stands as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota,” according to its website. Before the modern day Corn Palace, there was the original, called the “Corn Belt Exposition,” which was established in 1892.
Every year, the Corn Palace Festival takes place. Historically, it was held at harvest time in September, but recently it has been held at the end of August, placing it at the perfect time international students who study in South Dakota are returning for their fall semester.
Many of Dakota Wesleyan University’s, which is located in Mitchell, sporting events are held at the Corn Palace where they play Black Hills State University, Mayville State University and Dakota State University to name a view, plus other surrounding state universities and colleges such as Iowa and North Dakota.