ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Our View: Festival means fun time ahead

The Corn Palace Festival, an event that spent part of the off-season in controversy, begins today. We, and the thousands who will meander the streets snacking on caramel apples and braving carnival rides, couldn't be happier. The Corn Palace Fest...

The Corn Palace Festival, an event that spent part of the off-season in controversy, begins today.

We, and the thousands who will meander the streets snacking on caramel apples and braving carnival rides, couldn't be happier.

The Corn Palace Festival is no small thing in Mitchell, a town that embraces its rural heritage more than most. We are a city that not only has built a shrine to agriculture -- the Corn Palace -- but one that is able to make jokes about it, with goofy highway signs that go well past corny.

We always have had fun with our maize mania. Until recently.

Last year, there was trouble with the Corn Palace Festival's carnival provider, Todd Armstrong Shows. Carnival-goers complained about the number and types of rides and said they didn't care for the midway's overall quality. Eight people believed to have been in the employ of the company were arrested during Corn Palace week, on charges ranging from marijuana possession to statutory rape.

ADVERTISEMENT

Then, this summer, the Corn Palace Festival Board suggested moving the carnival several blocks up Main Street, away from the main business district. Although the board had noble reasons for the proposal -- mostly citing safety concerns -- the outcry from business owners was loud, succinct and the basis of several heated meetings.

Despite the board's recommendation to move, the City Council voted against the move.

Fast forward to today, the start of the 2006 Corn Palace Festival.

The former carnival provider -- Gold Star Amusement -- is back on the midway after its unfortunate one-year absence. The carnival will be located in the same place -- between First and Fifth Avenues -- it has been held for years. There's quality entertainment booked, ranging from LeAnn Rimes to Loverboy.

Corn Palace week is about promoting agriculture, touting Mitchell and having fun. It's this city's signature event.

As the carnival rides today begin to roar on Main Street and as Rimes prepares to take the stage at the Corn Palace tonight, we're glad to put the event's recent controversies behind us.

What To Read Next
Throughout the county party election season, stretching from mid-November to the end of January, delegates have succeeded in changing the makeup of key county parties, like Minnehaha and Pennington.
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.
Members Only
After the departure of longtime superintendent Marje Kaiser and the hiring of Dan Trefz, who recently resigned, advocates say the specialty school needs help from lawmakers to reach its past heights.
Over the past year, the city has been mulling over bringing a secondary water source to Mitchell – a move Mayor Bob Everson said is aimed at positioning the city to grow.