Have Some Fun in the Country

Rural communities in Southeast South Dakota know how to have fun, so head to the country and take in some of these great events and attractions. There’s still plenty of summer and fall events coming up. Here’s a few you’ll want to check out:

Heartland Country Corn Maze, Harrisburg - Opens August 12: They have 11 acres of corn and a new maze design every year. This year’s design is a cow and calf. Don’t worry about getting lost. You’ll get a map and questions that can be answered as you find checkpoints containing the answers as you wander through the maze of towering corn. And you’ll get a free treat if you find the hidden checkpoint. For more of a challenge, come nights when they’re open after dark - but be sure to bring your flashlight! They also have a Haunted Maze at Halloween. The maze is also wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Adams Homestead Celebration, North Sioux City - August 13: This great family event offers many hands-on old-time activities for kids (and adults) such as candle making, rope making, tin punching, corn shelling, buffalo chip throwing contest and more. You can watch threshing machine demonstrations and go on a hayrack ride. If you’re a pie baker, you might want to enter the Homemade Pie Contest! This is a free event, but you can also play Chicken Plop Bingo and help fund the new playground project.! Be sure to explore the century old homestead that includes a home, barns, one room school and church while you’re there or come back another day when you have more time to also hike or bike on the extensive nature trails.

Scottie Stampede Rodeo Days, Scotland - August 13-14: There’s rodeo actions both nights as well as Mutton Bustin’ for the kids. If you come for the whole day on Saturday, there’s a parade on Main Street, tractor pedal pull and Big Wheel races for the kids, Cow Patty Bingo, Fire Dept. water fight, a BBQ pork supper and street dance in the evening.

Fur Trader Days, Geddes - August 13-14: Geddes’ annual celebration remembers the days of fur traders and pioneers. Activities include the Antique Parade, Farmer’s Market, horse shoe pitching, bean bag toss, mounted shooters, antique tractor pull, lawn mower poker run and more. Explore the Historical Village which features the authentic 1857 Papineau Trading Post, 1895 Red, White & Blue Schoolhouse, Peter Norbeck’s boyhood home, Pioneer Museum, pioneer tomb stones and 1900 claim

136th Annual Turner County Fair, Parker - August 15-18: Turner County Fair is the oldest and biggest county fair in South Dakota. It has all the county fair fun you could ask for: carnival, entertainment, livestock and 4-H exhibits, rodeo, car races, demolition derby, old-time village and, of course, great fair food. Free Gate Fair!

Pheasant Fest, Plankinton - August 20: Spend a day in the heart of pheasant country. A couple of highlights are the Lawn Mower Races and the Pheasant Feed. There’s also a Farmer’s Market & Craft Fair, Kiddie Parade and Street Dance.

54th Annual Prairie Village Steam Threshing Jamboree, Madison - August 25-28: This year’s feature is the Massey Expo of North America. Three big days of parades, the largest flea market in the area, steam and horse threshing, machinery demonstrations, tractor pulls, train and carousel rides, free musical entertainment, exhibits, food and family fun. Entertainment in the Lawrence Welk Opera House will be free to attendees. A dinner train serves a four course meal in an original 1911 dining/parlor car. You’ll want to come back another day when can spend more time exploring Prairie Village’s 40 restored buildings, open throughout the summer season.

Kuchen Festival / Old Time Harvest Festival, Delmont - September 10-11: Delmont offers two festivals in one weekend! The Kuchen Festival in Delmont is on the 10th. Kuchen, South Dakota’s state dessert, is available by the slice or by the pan as well as other homemade baked goods. There’s also a Craft Fair and Quilt Show.  The Harvest Festival, which is at the Twin Rivers Old Iron Assoc. farm just west of Delmont, runs both days and features old time farm machinery, harvest demonstrations and historical activities. Watch old-time tractors pull their weight or take a spin around the grounds in a horse drawn cart.

Country School Reunion / Octoberfest, Union County Historical Society Museum, Elk Point - September 10: The museum features a beautiful 1892 brick Queen Anne home with period furnishing, 6.5 acres of grounds with a brick kiln, two barns, pond and horse-drawn farm machinery. The event will highlight presentations by country school teachers and memorabilia. Quilts will be displayed in the home.

Pioneer Power Show, Menno - September 24-25: This year’s feature is International Harvester tractors, engines and vehicles. The event features antique car and tractor parade, demonstrations of old-time farm equipment and farming methods, steam engine plowing and threshing, saw mill, tractor pulls and kids pedal tractor pull and children’s games, bale throwing contest, ladies nail driving contest, flea market and toy show, craft show and much more!

Ufford Hills Harvest Festival, Vermillion - September 30-October 2 & October 7-10: There’s something here for everyone in the family: corn maze, pumpkin patch, horseback rides, vendors, farm animals to watch and pet, kiddie train around the goat playground, food booth and more!