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Corn Palace murals to commemorate SD's 125th anniversary

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The Corn Palace will soon be decorated with murals celebrating the 125th anniversary of South Dakota's statehood.

On Wednesday, the Corn Palace announced next year's mural theme will be "South Dakota's 125th," and will include images of the state's Capitol building, a horse-drawn wagon, a cattle roper, gold miners, a paddle steamer, a bison, a farm, a wolf and an American Indian.

With construction ongoing throughout the summer on a two-phase, nearly $7.2 million renovation of the Corn Palace, the murals will be put up as construction allows, according to Micaela Erickson, a Corn Palace box office assistant. Though workers have already started putting up the grasses and rye that border the murals, they won't start on the murals themselves until the corn is ready in late August or early September. The murals are typically completed by November.

Wade Strand, who grows colored corn for the murals and acquires grasses and rye for the walls, will be paid $57,000 for the 2015 murals and Cherie Ramsdell, who designs the murals, will be paid $8,950.

South Dakota and North Dakota were granted statehood on Nov. 2, 1889. To commemorate the event, South Dakota's celebration plans include a 125th anniversary wagon train that will start on Sept. 3 in Yankton and end on Sept. 20 in Pierre. The route includes stops in 13 towns, including Mitchell.