Corn Palace is located in Mitchell, South Dakota. Visitors to the Corn Palace will enjoy the uniqueness of the decorations and themes that are changed out yearly. The World’s Only Corn Palace was established in 1892 on Mitchell, South Dakota’s Main Street. Its purpose was to stand as a testament to the world of South Dakota’s impressive agriculture abilities.
The Corn Palace has been a tourist attraction for more than one hundred years and sees over five hundred thousand visitors a year. It was constructed as place where the city’s residents along with their neighbors in the rural areas could gather. The Palace was also used to host a festival that celebrated the climax of the growing season as well as harvest time. Today the Corn Palace Festival continues in late August every year.
In 1905, with the Corn Palace’s success a done deal, a new Palace was to be constructed to replace the original. It became much too small soon after it was built and the decision to build another replacement was made in 1919. The current building was finished in 1921, in time for the Corn Palace Festival. In the winter of the same year, Mitchell played host to it’s first state basketball tournament because The Corn Palace was considered to have the best basketball stadium in the upper Midwest.
Plans were carried out to evoke the original decorative features of the Palace in the 1930s. Kiosks and minarets in Moorish design were added to help restore the original appearance of the Corn Palace.
The Corn Palace of today is not only home to the Corn Palace Festival and a tourist attraction, but is a practical structure that can be adapted to various purposes. Some of these purposes include it’s use for industrial exhibits, theatrical shows, dances, banquets, meetings, proms, graduations for the high school and Dakota Wesleyan University, and state, district, and regional basketball tournaments. It is known as one of the top ten locations in the United States for high school basketball.
Every year the Corn Palace is decorated with native agricultural plants such as corn and prairie grasses to show its title as “the agricultural show-place of the world.” Themes differ every year, and the murals are created to reflect the theme.
The Corn Palace offers tours between Memorial Day and August. Tours outside those dates can be scheduled.
Corn Palace Murals- The Corn Palace uses different themes that it’s murals reflect every year. Some of these are listed below along with the years they were used.
· 1892- There was no central theme, only patterns were used.
· 1894-1906- Patterns with designs in the corners were used.
· 1910- The Corn Palace used an Indian Design theme.
· 1911- An Egyptian motif was used.
· 1913- Western Scenes were the theme.
· 1922- The theme this year was South Dakota Modern and Historical Scenes.
· 1923- Rising Sun and Griffins was used as the theme.
· 1924- Buffalo, Elk, Griffin, etc. was the theme used for the Corn Palace theme.
· 1926- The theme was South Dakota when the White Man Arrived.
· 1936- Black Hills (Real Pine Trees) was the theme.
· 1937- The Corn Palace used an Arabian Theme that included camels and minaret mosques).
· 1938- Conservation of the Wild Life of the State was the theme for this year.
· 1939- The theme used was 50 Years of Statehood.
· 1942 and 1943- Both years the theme used was Allied Victory.
· 1944 and 1945- Both years used the theme War.
· 1959- The theme for the Corn Palace was Scenes of the Old West.
· 1969- The Corn Palace used the theme Space Age.
· 1973- Salute to Agriculture was the theme.
· 1977- The theme was USA, Civil War, Indian, Races.
· 1984- The theme was South Dakota Highlights.
· 1986- The Corn Palace used the theme First Americans.
· 1994- The theme Myths, Legends, and Fables was used.
· 1999- The theme Building a Nation was used.
· 2004- Lewis and Clark was the theme.
· 2016- Rock of Ages was the theme
· 2017- The theme was South Dakota weather.
Every year the Corn Palace hosts the Corn Palace Festival in late August. The Corn Palace also hosts sporting events.
Corn Palace Festival- The Corn Palace Festival features fair rides, specialty vendors, food, and live entertainment shows. Local vendors bring their finest produce to be judged. The Festival also gives people aged six and up the opportunity to compete in the Corn Palace Open Class Exhibits. This competition provides a chance for them to showcase their creativity.
Sporting Events- Sporting events are hosted throughout the year. Check the website for a schedule of events.
The concession stand offers the World’s Only Corn Palace Popcorn Balls as the number one item sold. The menu also contains hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob (seasonal), popcorn, soda, water, and candy.
604 North Main Street, Mitchell, SD 57301, Phone: 605-995-8430