New Projects Underway at Mitchell Corn Palace

MITCHELL, S.D.- The Corn Palace in Mitchell is often a busy place with around half a million visitors a year. The venue is getting a pretty good makeover right now, but crews are also facing similar issues hitting farmers. 

One of the main reasons that people visit the corn palace is to see the murals. So crews are currently working on their annual redecorating process. It’s out with the old and in with the new.

“Just because the birds pick off most of it [corn] and sun fades all the color away,” said Jeff Hanson, Building Maintenance Supervisor.

Each year the city chooses a new theme for their nine murals.

“This year will be South Dakota homegrown,” said Hanson. 

Crews construct the new theme using 12 different colors of corn. They also use rye to decorate the corn palace. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough this year.

“Cause of the rain, so it wasn’t quite as tall, wasn’t quite as thick. We had another field that got flooded out. So it is what it is,” said Hanson. 

Crews are also about a month behind because the corn was harvested late because of bad weather. Crews are usually done around Thanksgiving. This year, the goal is Christmas.

“Out until you’re done. We’ve been out -10, -20 degrees. Just stick it out. So while it’s moist, we try to go as fast as possible,” said Hanson. 

Then on the south side of the corn palace the city is working on their Corn Palace Plaza. Phase one wrapped up in 2017 transforming a side road into open green space. Phase 2 is now underway with plans for a shade structure on the west side and a new entrance and permanent stage on the east side.

“We have over 300,00 visitors a year that come to the Corn Palace and we have a number of community events as well. So the idea with the plaza is it’s just another community space for our community to use. We host our farmers market out there, we often have bands and other events,” said Stephanie Ellwein, Mitchell City Administrator. 

Adding to the experience of the world’s only Corn Palace. Phase two of the Corn Palace Plaza is set to be completed by late May.

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