Greetings from the Center of the Nation: Belle Fourche | Black Hills Travel Blog

Greetings from the Center of the Nation: Belle Fourche

  • Greetings from the Center of the Nation: Belle Fourche
Updated: 
Friday, March 19, 2021
By : 
Kristi Thielen

Spring will soon be here, and the daffodils will be back in our walkway before you know it. Tri-State Museum is gearing up for summer with several new additions to the permanent collections and the technology.

A new piece of nostalgia in the Mercantile Exhibit

The Mercantile Exhibit now houses a covered wagon light that was once in the front window of a local store called Pioneer Sporting Goods. The store burned down under mysterious circumstances, which is a story in and of itself. But the covered wagon light was spared destruction.

The covered wagon light seems to have begun its life as a merchandising tool for a beer company. It's suspected that the light was a familiar icon around the country. See for yourself if this new piece of nostalgia brings back memories from your youth.

At last, our Rodeo Queens are front and center

Learn about the history of rodeo "queening," yes, that's an actual word, in this new and improved exhibit. The digital information screen also displays all the Miss Rodeo South Dakota winners' photos, beginning in the 1950s. Watch the queens go by and see if you recognize someone.

The historic Johnny Spaulding Cabin will have its own opening day

See the updates made to the historic Johnny Spaulding Cabin. The cabin exterior was restained in the fall. The interiors will receive fresh paint and refurbishment.

In celebration of these improvements, the cabin will have an Opening Day on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Enjoy traditional 19th-century refreshments like lemonade and kuchen. Everybody's invited.

QUACK! A brand-new festival takes place in May

The first annual Belle Fourche Duck Races and Kite Festival will be staged at the Tri-State Museum on Saturday, May 22, 2021. The ducks will be dropped in the Belle Fourche River and wend their way to the finish line, near the Museum and Visitor Center's backyard. Proceeds for the duck sales will go to the local Shriners.

Then, the kite-fun begins! You may bring your own kites to fly, but the museum will also sell simple kites (which can be decorated) to kids who come to the event. There will also be food, games, music, crafts, activity tables for kids and train rides. 

Hometown Thursdays will be HERE this summer

Belle Fouche's weekly summer event, Hometown Thursdays, will take place at Tri-State Museum in June and July 2021. There will be a band, beer sales, craft booths, food and activities for kids AND adults. You can do your own thing at Hometown Thursdays – and that includes the kind of chalk art you see here.

There's more museum theatre coming this summer

Here's a photo from our recent production of "Blarney!" set in Rockerville on St. Patrick's Day. In addition to the theatre classes offered this summer, Tri-State Museum will also mount a production of the fable, "An Ear of Corn," during the second annual Sweet Corn Festival, Aug. 20 and 21, 2021. The festival will include music, food, crafts, vendor booths, games and corn-related activities.

Regardless of when you visit or what you do – it's sure to be a wonderful memory-making experience at the Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

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