The Black Hills Passion Play, which is performed near Spearfish, attracts large audiences each summer. Other popular summer attractions in the Black Hills resort area include a play entitled Trial of Jack McCall, a realistic enactment of the court trial of Jack McCall for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok, which is performed daily in Deadwood. The Brookings Summer Arts Festival held every July is the region’s largest art show.
Various annual activities commemorate events in South Dakota’s frontier past. For example, early in July, the Black Hills Roundup, one of the West’s best known and oldest rodeos, is held at Belle Fourche. Later in the month, Gold Discovery Days pageant is held in Custer.
Days of ‘76 Festival, featuring a rodeo and scenes of the gold rush in the Black Hills, is celebrated in Deadwood in the first week of August. In mid-August the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attracts as many as 500,000 people to that city. The Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls also takes place in mid-August. The annual State Fair in Huron begins in late August or early September. The Corn Palace Festival is held in Mitchell around late August and early September.
Additional tourist attractions include the Corn Palace in Mitchell, a unique building designed to promote the richness of the state’s agriculture, which is the site of a week-long festival each September. Both the interior and exterior of the building are decorated with murals of multicolored corn that are changed each year. Wall Drug in Wall is internationally famous as the world’s largest drug store and a noted tourist stop.
On a hill overlooking Rapid City is Dinosaur Park. Located in an area which abounds in fossils, the park contains huge cement reproductions of dinosaurs. A gigantic sculpture of Crazy Horse, the famous Sioux chief, is being carved in the Black Hills. The project, begun in 1947, is still uncompleted.
Deadwood, located in the Black Hills, was a booming mining town late in the 1880s. The picturesque community is a popular tourist attraction because it maintains a frontier atmosphere, in part by setting aside a percentage of proceeds from recently legalized gambling for historic preservation. Overlooking Deadwood is Mount Moriah Cemetery, which contains the graves of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. "South Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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