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Annual Festivals in South Dakota

Rodeos, JazzFests, & Independence Day at Mt. Rushmore

South Dakota Festivals

Independence Day at Mt. Rushmore

South Dakota’s calendar is jam packed with annual celebrations throughout the year.

Whether you’re looking to browse the work of Midwestern artisans or anticipating the roar of a Main Street motorcycle fest, the Mount Rushmore State has your answer.

Yankton Riverboat Days

South Dakota Festivals

Sioux Falls Jazz Festival

Held in mid-August, the Yankton Riverboat Days & Summer Arts Festival features live performances, great food, and carnivals all in southeastern South Dakota.

Set in Yankton along the Missouri River, Yankton Riverboat Days is held at various venues like Yankton Mall, Riverside Park Amphitheater, and all througout downtown.

Don’t miss marathons, kiddie parades, car shows, and fireworks over the Missouri River.

Sioux Falls JazzFest

Another summer festival in South Dakota, the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Festival is held in late July in Sioux FallsYankton Trail Park.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

One of the largest free festivals in the country, Jazzfest features marathons, kids’ play areas, and live performances of rock, blues and jazz.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo

Set in Mitchell in southeastern South Dakota, the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo is held in late July at the Horseman's Sports Arena – located near the famed Corn Palace itself.

Summer visitors enjoy rodeo fun, chili cook-offs, and live country music at the rodeo grounds.

Plus, there's the Midcontinent Rodeo Golf Classic at Lakeview Golf Course, the Rodeo Mixer at the Highland Conference Center, and the Rodeo Parade along Mitchell’s Main Street.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Set in Sturgis, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual motorcycle celebration held in August along Main Street.

Sturgis visitors may explore vendor booths, new models from Harley-Davidson, and events like the Annual Mayor’s Ride and the World Championship of Custom Bike Building.

Be sure to grab some food, check out the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, and enjoy your time in western South Dakota.

Mt. Rushmore Independence Day Celebration

South Dakota is a land of historic sites – the most famous of which being the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. Set near Keystone in the southwestern corner of the state, the 60-foot faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are a must-see during your trip to the Mt. Rushmore State.

And what better way to observe the Fourth of July than with the Mt. Rushmore Independence Day Celebration? More than 20,000 people flock to Mt. Rushmore each July for live performances, educational demonstrations, and the Sculpture Lighting Ceremony.

Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival

Held at Custer State Park in southwest South Dakota, the Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival takes place in late September near Custer. The free arts festival features artwork, crafts, and food from participants throughout the Midwest – totaling 150 vendors. The Buffalo Roundup, however, is the star of the show.

Watch as 1,300 buffalo are herded before your eyes. Make yourself comfortable with folding chairs, binoculars, and rain gear, and don’t miss other Buffalo Roundup events like the Dutch Oven Cook-off.

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo

The largest event in Rapid City, the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo brings over 300,000 people to the Central States Fairgrounds. Held in late January through early February, the 10-day event features rodeo, livestock, and horse events – plus sheep dog trials, barbeque contests, and the Rodeo Banquet and Ball.

Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Buffalo Ridge Inn

310 W Mount Rushmore Road, Custer SD 57730-1938
Phone: (605) 673-2275  |  Fax: (605) 673-2234  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Ramkota Hotel

2111 N LaCrosse Street, Rapid City SD 57701-7858
Phone: (605) 343-8550  |  Fax: (605) 343-9107  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel

3200 W Maple Street, Sioux Falls SD 57107-1302
Phone: (605) 336-0650  |  Fax: (605) 336-1687  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Empire Towers

4100 W Shirley Place, Sioux Falls SD 57106-0707
Phone: (605) 361-3118  |  Fax: (605) 361-9744  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Sturgis Inn

2431 Junction Avenue, Sturgis SD 57785-2559
Phone: (605) 347-3604  |  Fax: (800) 611-3569  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Kelly Inn

1607 E Highway 50, Yankton SD 57078-6406
Phone: (605) 665-2906  |  Fax: (605) 665-4318  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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