10 South Dakotan Events You Should Visit

South Dakota is home to many great festivals and events, ranging from cultural happenings to automotive showings. Whatever your interest might be, you’re sure to enjoy many of these. Our list is in no specific order, and an event being lower than others shouldn’t at all discourage you from visiting.

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo

Cowboys are an American signature, and modern-day cowboys gather here. Rodeo lovers should ride down to Rapid City and check this one out for sure. But even those that have never seen a horse in their life can have a blast. Numerous art and food vendors await visitors to the festival, so everyone’s bound to find something.

Yankton Riverboat Days & Summer Arts Festival

More geared towards artists than cowboys, the Yankton festival is an excellent opportunity to both purchase and show off your wares. A plethora of stands to go shopping for food or art and numerous family activities await anyone at the festival. The parade, a signature of the happening, is its greatest draw, so make sure not to miss it.

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup


A phenomenon that has to be seen to be fully understood, the mighty bison that move annually are indeed a sight to behold. If this has piqued your interest, you can find videos of the awe-inspiring view. If you’re in love with nature or old Westerns, this event is sure to amaze you.

South Dakota State Fair

Held in Huron, this festival fits what a carnival should be to a tee. Fair food is there to keep the bellies of those who visit full. If you’re one of the visitors, make sure not to go on a rollercoaster after stuffing yourself with delicious food. Otherwise, hop on one of the rides, grab some cotton candy, and enjoy this fantastic fair.

Wild Bill Days

This event, hosted in Deadwood, has everything a music festival needs to be amazing. Vendors, food, loud music, and a huge crowd each year guarantee an amazing atmosphere you won’t soon forget. With each year bringing in different artists, you can almost certainly explore new music here.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Hosting a massive number of bikers, it’s no wonder that a superb rally like this one is organized in Sturgis. Thousands of cyclists riding down the scenic road look nothing short of a movie scene. Even if you’re interested in motorcycles, we’re sure you’ll be amazed.

Fort Sisseton Historical Festival

As we have said, South Dakota has something for everyone, and the history buffs among you will certainly appreciate this one. The live historical performances at Lake City will make you feel almost as if you were present at the events being re-enacted.

Days of ’76 Rodeo

The Deadwood rodeo is another great event to visit for cowboy lovers. The happening is what many agree a quintessential rodeo should be. The competition and stunts that the riders pull off are a must-see for those that enjoy rodeos and are bound to amaze those who don’t even like them. This eye-popping event is sure to have you almost falling off your seat.


Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the genre, the artists at the Sioux Jazzfest are sure to blow you away with their musical skills. The artists that visit include both smaller local artists who aspire to get their big break and big jazz names from all over the world. If you’re a jazz lover, this is the premium event to visit.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant

This outdoor festival hosts numerous people each year. Visitors have a chance to enjoy nature and walk around as there’s no seating. If you’re a history buff besides being a nature lover, you’ll enjoy the show’s depiction of life throughout the ages in South Dakota.

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