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Corn Palace Festival opens 5-day run today

GoldStar Amusements worker Jim Briggs places a mirrored panel on a section of the carousel Tuesday afternoon on Main Street in Mitchell to prepare for the start of the Corn Palace Festival carnival at 3 p.m. today. (Chris Huber/Republic)

The Corn Palace Festival returns today to pack crowds into downtown Mitchell.

The annual event features a carnival, complete with rides, food vendors and other attractions, concerts, and free music and performers as well.

The roots of the festival go back to 1892. It always brings thousands of people to Mitchell's core as they celebrate the end of summer with music, games, rides, food and drink and fun with family and friends.

GoldStar Amusements will provide carnival fun throughout the five-day event. The outdoor Freedom Stage will have performers Thursday through Sunday, talent contests and a church service Sunday morning.

The concerts in the Corn Palace start tonight with a free show from Powerplay.

On Thursday, Hinder with special guest Kory and the Fireflies will kick some rowdy rock into the series. Tickets are $35.

Friday night offers a country show, as Thompson Square with special guest Frankie Ballard perform. Tickets are $30.

On Saturday night, classic country star Charlie Daniels will bring his fiddle to the Corn Palace stage. Opening for The Charlie Daniels Band is the Doo-Wah Riders, featuring "high-energy country with a Cajun twist." Tickets are $30.

The Happy Together Tour concludes the concert series on Sunday night. It brings 1960s pop stars to the stage to perform their chart-topping hits. The performers include The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie; Micky Dolenz, the lead singer of the Monkees; The Grass Root; Gary Puckett & the Union Gap; and The Buckinghams. Tickets are $40.