To "celebrate" Rick's birthday a few weeks back we got on the bikes and headed out to Mitchell (about 75 miles from here) to the ..... Corn Palace. Hey, a few years ago we celebrated my birthday at the Spam Museum so never let it be said that us Whelans don't know how to have a good time! We packed toothbrushes and clean clothes just in case we had a need to hang out for an additional day or two!
For those of you who have no clue what the Corn Palace is I have the answers! First of all, the Mitchell Corn Palace claims to be the worlds only corn palace (who am I to argue such a claim!). The Mitchell Corn Palace was built in 1892 when the city of Mitchell was only 12 years old. Every fall Mitchell has a corn festival to celebrate agriculture and the productivity of the people of Mitchell (in fact this year it starts next week).
Every year the Corn Palace is decorated with a different theme! The walls are stripped of the corn from the last years murals and the process begins all over again and the new murals are created using over 3,000 bushels of rye, oat heads and "sour dock" which are tied in bundles and attached to the walls. When the corn is ready to be harvested approximately 275 thousand ears of corn are sawed in half lengthwise and nailed to the building according to the patterns created by the designers of the current years murals.
As hokey as it sounds it really is rather impressive when you see it and realize what is involved! The Corn Palace is open to the public and free of charge for those of you planning a trip to Mitchell, SD! Also, it is the main venue for community events in this small rural farm town,they have basketball games, stage shows, trade shows etc. at the venue. I'm not done yet, they even have a "corn cam" for those of you that are interested!
In closing, this is one of those little fellas that used to drive Arlo crazy when we'd stay here ~ oh the hours that boy spent trying to get himself one of these prairie dogs or gophers or whatever they are. Not sure what the heck he'd have done if he succeeded ~ probably scared the be jeebers out of himself and run like the wind in the other direction, but he sure tried!
The fair just ended on Sunday so stay tuned for that adventure!