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The Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota – Decorated Building

The Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota - Decorated Building

If you’re planning a road trip through the Midwest, one destination you won’t want to miss is The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. This unique building, decorated entirely with corn and other grains, is a testament to the region’s agricultural heritage and a must-see attraction for visitors from around the world.

History of The Corn Palace

The Corn Palace has been a fixture in Mitchell since 1892 when it was first built as an auditorium and community center. At the time, the building was relatively simple, with plain brick walls and a modest design. However, in 1904, local businessman and politician Louis Beck had the idea to decorate the building with corn as a way to attract tourists to the area.

Beck’s vision was a success, and over the years, The Corn Palace has become a beloved symbol of Mitchell and a popular tourist attraction. Today, the building is still used for community events and performances, but its main draw is its intricate and ever-changing corn murals.

Decorating The Corn Palace

Every year, in the late summer, a team of volunteers begins the process of decorating The Corn Palace with new murals. The process begins with the selection of a theme for the year, which can be anything from regional history to pop culture. Once the theme is chosen, the team begins designing the murals, which are made entirely from corn and other grains.

The corn used to decorate The Corn Palace is grown specifically for this purpose and is chosen for its color and texture. The murals are made by carefully selecting and sorting the individual kernels of corn and then affixing them to the building’s exterior using nails and staples. The process is time-consuming and requires a great deal of skill and patience, but the end result is truly stunning.

Visiting The Corn Palace

If you’re planning a trip to The Corn Palace, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, the building is free to visit and open to the public year-round. However, if you want to see the murals at their best, it’s best to visit between late August and early September, when the new murals are unveiled.

In addition to the murals themselves, The Corn Palace offers a variety of other attractions and amenities for visitors. Inside the building, you’ll find a gift shop selling a wide range of corn-themed souvenirs, as well as a museum dedicated to the history of The Corn Palace and its role in the community.

Outside the building, you’ll find a variety of food vendors and other attractions, including carnival rides and games. There’s also a nearby campground where you can spend the night if you’re traveling in an RV or camper.

The Corn Palace is not only a beloved tourist attraction in Mitchell, South Dakota, but it’s also an important piece of history that tells the story of the region’s agricultural past.

The idea of using corn to decorate the building was not only a way to attract tourists, but it was also a way to celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the Midwest. Corn has been a staple crop in the region for centuries, and The Corn Palace pays homage to this important part of the local culture.

In addition to the elaborate corn murals that adorn the building, The Corn Palace also features a unique architectural design. The building’s domes and minarets are reminiscent of the Moorish Revival style that was popular in the late 19th century. This style was chosen specifically to help the building stand out and attract attention from afar.

Over the years, The Corn Palace has undergone several renovations and updates to keep it in good condition. In 1921, the building was completely rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original structure. The current building is made of brick and concrete and has been designed to withstand the harsh South Dakota weather.

Today, The Corn Palace continues to be an important part of the local community. In addition to hosting events and performances, the building also serves as a gathering place for residents and visitors alike. During the annual Corn Palace Festival, which takes place every August, the building comes alive with live music, food vendors, and other attractions.

For visitors who want to learn more about the history of The Corn Palace and the role it has played in the community, a visit to the on-site museum is a must. The museum features exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the building’s construction and evolution over the years.


The Corn Palace is a truly unique attraction that celebrates the rich agricultural heritage of the Midwest. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or just looking for a fun and quirky road trip destination, The Corn Palace is well worth a visit. So pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare to be amazed by this one-of-a-kind decorated building in Mitchell, South Dakota.

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