CP: Corn Palace, or Community Pride?

On December 1, I celebrated the six-month mark in my tenure at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. In the days since, I have been reflecting on the fun I’ve had rediscovering Mitchell from a brand-new perspective; so today, I will close my thoughts on Mitchell’s excellent attractions by writing about – what else? – the Corn Palace!

I have to be honest, when I used to work downtown as a teenager I used to refer to the Corn Palace as the ‘World’s largest bird feeder.’ How embarrassing now! I’ve truly come to recognize that it’s an astonishing structure that embodies so much about who we are as Mithell-ites. To me, the Corn Palace is pride embodied.

People sometimes tell me that Mitchell isn’t proud of the Corn Palace. I disagree! If we weren’t proud of it, why would we spend so much time there? If we didn’t like it, we wouldn’t keep it. But we do keep it. We fight over it, and you only fight for what you believe in.

When the Corn Palace’s founders – business men – first developed the idea to build the structure, it was for an age-old reason: to bring business and residents to town. Mission accomplished, sirs. The Corn Palace certainly supports many businesses in town, but it has also become the heart of our city. This is where we graduate our high school and college students. It’s where  we take our kids to see the circus; where we cheer on our friends and neighbors and sometimes total strangers in athletics. This is where we go to be entertained, either by concerts or indoor rodeos. It’s where to pile in for important community meetings, and it’s where we escape for private events.

The Corn Palace is the icon of our city. And that’s something to be proud of.