PIERRE, S.D. – One of South Dakota’s Great Places is covered in 3,000 bushels of corn. It’s the World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
The first Corn Palace was built in 1892 to celebrate the harvest and stimulate economic growth in Mitchell. Since then, it’s developed into a must-stop location as visitors travel across South Dakota. Each year, approximately 500,000 tourists come from around the world to visit the unique attraction.
More than 3,000 bushels of corn are used to decorate the exterior of the Corn Palace. Thirteen colors of corn are needed to decorate the exterior, and, each year, a new theme for the murals is selected. The redecoration of the Corn Palace begins each year in June with the replacement of native grasses. In August, the corn murals are replaced.
Throughout the summer months, the Corn Palace offers free guided tours filled with facts about the building, including information about how many nails and staples are used during the decorating process. Visitors will also find a display of photos depicting the murals from the last 120 years, a gift store, and concession stand.
Not only is the Corn Palace a spectacle from the outside, but it also functions on the inside, holding basketball games, graduations, concerts, and other celebrations. In September, the Corn Palace hosts an event to celebrate the end of harvest. This grand finale to the season usually includes big-name entertainment, carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, food booths, antique auto displays, flea markets and more.
The World’s Only Corn Palace is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. April, May, September, October and November hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. December-March hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. More information about The World’s Only Corn Palace and the events that take place can be found at www.cornpalace.com.
South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. View our newsroom to access the complete list of articles.