FREEMAN - After waiting 25 years, the "A Day in the Life of Freeman" project could wait another week.
The project, originally slated for April 10, featured five South Dakota State University students and five Freeman High School students as they went around town for nearly 14 hours on Tuesday documenting it through photography.
Also on hand were 11 other SDSU students from a multi-platform class that were sharing social media stories across a variety of platforms under the name of "A Day in the Life of South Dakota."
The project was delayed by six days due to the blizzard that smacked South Dakota last week.
"(The blizzard) was a pain in the butt, is what it was," Freeman Courier Publisher Jeremy Waltner said. "We said we were going to shoot on April 10, no matter what. We would have, except the SDSU folks couldn't get down here. ... It was a good call but it was unfortunate."
The project was spearheaded by SDSU Instructor Frank Robertson, who was a college student participating in the original project on April 20, 1994. Robertson collaborated with Waltner, who as a high school student also participated in the original project. Twenty-five years later, they worked together again.
"We're supplying the manpower. He's supplying the community and more than that, it's the support," Robertson said.
Jeremy and his father Tim Waltner, the former publisher of the Freeman Courier the last time the two groups worked on the project, were key in setting up the day. In March, the Waltners took the five students from SDSU and the five Freeman High School students on a tour of the town and a planning session for the project.
The heart of the project is photography - like the original project was 25 years ago - but technology has definitely changed some things.
"We live in a different time, obviously," Waltner said. "So there's a social media component, an online component, a broadcast component to it that we didn't have 25 years ago. It feels the same and yet it feels like 'A Day in the Life' on steroids because there's so much more, which is cool to see."
Robertson said he wanted this to be the students' project.
"Honestly, I was a little nervous about what people would care about in Freeman," SDSU senior Scott Engen said. "But since we got here, there have been no shortages of things to photograph and people to talk to."
Freeman High School junior Emily Miller said the experience has been eye-opening to what goes on in her hometown.
"I get to capture my hometown," she said. "I've lived here my whole life and kind of know the town inside and out and now I get to capture it ... I never realized how much there is in Freeman because it is a small town, yet it feels like a big town at the same time."
Mitchell native and SDSU junior Landon Dierks took part in the project as a multi-platform participant.
"We have projects all the time, where we're supposed to be taking photos and producing video. But it's never been something this intense," Dierks said. "It's 12 straight hours of getting in the dirt and doing it."
While scattered throughout town, the students, along with Robertson and the Waltners, made the Freeman City Hall their base of operation.
The original project also chronicled 14 hours in the community of Freeman and culminated in a 40-page special section printed on traditional newsprint paper. This year's project will be culminated in a glossy magazine to be published in May.
Students of the project are expected to turn in 15 photos with cutline, or caption, information. From there, it will be laid out by students in an SDSU design class along with the Freeman Courier staff.
While no official date has been set, Waltner said he is hoping to get the publication out the third week of May.
"One thing that I was really looking forward to - and it's definitely lived up to - is the passion everyone in this community has and it's very evident with everyone you talk to," Dierks said.