Category Archives: Rediscovering Mitchell

Snap – Post – Tag – Win! Instagram Photo Challenge

The Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to see how you see Mitchell during National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3-11, 2014. Everyone is invited to post photos to Instagram featuring any of the subjects below for a chance to win prizes!

How to play:

  1. Take a photo of any Photo Challenge subject (above)
  2. Post it to Instagram May 3 – 11
  3. Tag the photo with both #MitchellSD and @VisitMitchell

How to win:

  1. A new winner will be drawn from the photos posted each day, May 3 – 11 (That’s 9 chances to win!)
  2. The more pictures you post, the better your chances of being drawn.
  3. Winners will be contacted via Instagram comment from @VisitMitchell.

Activities Planned for National Travel & Tourism Week

The Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced several activities happening in town to celebrate the travel and tourism industry and the economic and social contributions it brings to Mitchell.

“Our visitors and the city-wide hospitality team really appreciate all that the community does for tourism, and National Travel & Tourism Week is a perfect reminder to celebrate that,” says Jacki Miskimins, Director of the Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau. National Travel & Tourism Week runs from May 3 – 11 this year.

During National Travel & Tourism Week, the newly revamped Community & Visitor Guide will be distributed to local and regional residents. The annual guide was redesigned this year in a more user-friendly, magazine-style format, according to Miskimins. “With the new design, we hope to renew pride in the community – and, of course, spread the word about our great city! There are amazing gems right in front of us, and we wanted to remind our region of all that Mitchell has to offer.”

The CVB is also hosting two contests via social media: a photo challenge on Instagram and a reverse scavenger hunt on their Facebook page. “We had a lot of fun with our reverse scavenger hunt last year, and definitely wanted to bring it back. But we also want to give the community a chance to show off what they love about Mitchell, so we’re bringing in the photo challenge as well.” Instagram users can play by taking pictures in town and posting them to the social sharing site tagged with #MitchellSD and @VisitMitchell.

“Anyone can participate in the photo challenge. The more pictures you post, the better your chances of winning!” Miskimins explains. A new winner will be drawn from each day’s entries. A list of photo challenge subjects follows.

Photo Challenge Subjects:
  1. Corn Palace
  2. Prehistoric Indian Village
  3. Dakota Discovery Museum
  4. Carnegie Resource Center
  5. McGovern Legacy Museum
  6. Visitor Information Center (‘Welcome Cabin’)
  7. Lake Mitchell
  8. Historic Main Street
  9. Any public park (name the park in your caption)
  10. Your favorite restaurant (name the restaurant in your caption)
  11. Your favorite spring activity – Jogging? Riding your motorcycle? Gardening? etc.
  12. Your favorite view in Mitchell – Your front porch? Softball fields? etc.

Tag pictures with #mitchellsd and @VisitMitchell to enter!

Additionally, a free community tour will be provided on Friday, May 9. This tour will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, and will feature fun facts and trivia about tourism while visiting each of Mitchell’s attractions. The tour is free but participants must preregister by calling 996-6223.

To further encourage residents to visit these attractions, free admission will be offered May 9-11. By offering free admission, the CVB and attractions hope to increase awareness, appreciation, and word-of-mouth referrals to visiting friends and family members as well the Mitchell community.

Though it falls after the official conclusion of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Convention and Visitors Bureau also encourages community members to attend “The Exceptional Employee Seminar,” a talk by V.J. Smith to be held May 22 at 10:00 a.m. at the Highland Conference Center. This event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau, South Dakota Department of Tourism, and Trail King Industries. Cost is $10 per person; interested participants should contact the Chamber of Commerce at 996-5567 to register.

“With tourism season about to kick off, it’s a great time of year to focus on the benefits tourism provides for our community. Mitchell welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and we want to celebrate all that our great city does for each and every one,” said Miskimins.

The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May.


About Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau: The Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau markets and promotes the Mitchell area in order to attract leisure and group travelers, pheasant hunters, conferences, conventions, meetings, athletic and sporting events, and other related events to Mitchell. The CVB aims to provide positive and meaningful experiences that bring visitors back to Mitchell year after year while improving the quality of the life for Mitchell residents.

Jacki Miskimins, Director
Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau

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.

Carnegie Resource Center

Years ago I spent a summer volunteering at the Oscar Howe Art Museum, formerly housed in a beautiful pink quartzite building just off of Main Street in downtown Mitchell. My memory is a bit fuzzy – it was a decade ago – but I distinctly recall two things from that summer: learning to use a manual credit card machine, and the folks lying on the floor to get a better picture of Oscar Howe’s dome mural, “Sun and Rain Clouds over Hills.”

In the years since that summer, the Oscar Howe Art Museum has found a new home at the Dakota Discovery Museum and manual credit card machines have become obscure and quite nearly obsolete. The painted dome, however, remains in that beautiful quartzite building, now home to the Carnegie Resource Center. If you are in Mitchell – as a visitor or a resident! – make a point to stop in and see it.

While you’re there, check out some of the amazing Corn Palace memorabilia on display. From vintage signage to a scale-model of the first Corn Palace, some items are astoundingly one-of-a-kind. Looking for a game the whole family can play? While checking out the headshots of artists who have ‘Played the Palace,’ see who has heard of the most acts. (My number was dismally low… so much for thinking I had a well-rounded taste in music!)

If history, particularly community history, is of interest to you the Carnegie Resource Center is a can’t-miss destination. Whether its pictures of original buildings in Mitchell (both businesses and residences) or family history you’re seeking, the incredibly welcoming staff is happy to help.

And I assure you – if you lay on the ground to get a great picture of “Sun and Rain Clouds over Hills,” you won’t be the first person to do so.

Visit the Carnegie Resource Center and find out…
Anything you want to know about Mitchell history – including genealogy information if your family is from the area!

Mitchell isn’t just the home of the World’s Only Corn Palace – it’s my home, too. So come on over! Stop in for an afternoon, a weekend, a while.


Jacki Miskimins is the Director of the Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is documenting her experiences rediscovering her hometown. Do you have an idea for a post? Let her know!

Dakota Discovery Museum (or, the barbed wire blast from the past)

In a span of three years, over 200 patents were filed for various types of barbed wire… which begs the question, how many different ways can you make barbed wire?

A lot. Twelve of them are currently on display at the Dakota Discovery Museum, along with other artifacts dating from the 1600’s to 1940. The main building is home to two museums, one hosting historical features and the other a wonderful display of art. In addition, three separate buildings showcase different aspects of early American life.

Upon entering, the historical museum features a “small” tipi: it’s made of 13-foot poles and covered with three buffalo hides. Though and can easily fit several children (they’re encouraged to climb inside!), it would have been considered a very small structure indeed for those who lived in them. A larger tipi may have used up to 27-foot poles and would have required at least 16 buffalo hides, and the sense of proportion is astounding when standing next the life-sized shelter.

Proportion is one thing, perspective is quite another. Unbeknownst to me, many of the beads used in decorative native beading came from Czechoslovakia. The world has been globalized for centuries!

On the second floor of the Dakota Discovery Museum is a large art gallery filled with diverse works and two wonderful, walk-in workspace replicas. While in the Leland Case exhibit, step into a replica of his library; while walking through walls of illustrations by Charles Hargens, tour an exact replica of his office. To me, it was incredibly neat to see actual props used by Hargens just a few feet away from their illustrated counterparts – and to hear the story of Oscar Howe’s artwork being turned away from an East-coast exhibit for not being “Indian” enough.

Going out of the main building, I toured the Beckwith house. My first thought upon entering was “Oh my goodness! The wallpaper!,” followed closely by “I want to live in this floor plan!” The Beckwith house is the restored home of Louis and Mary Beckwith; Louis was one of the co-founders of the very first Corn Palace. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, stepping into the Beckwith House is like stepping back in time (but with climate control).

Lastly, I was shown into the Sheldon School and Farwell Church. It struck me, upon entering the Church, that I wish I had known about that building when I got married! It’s a beautiful chapel with absolutely lovely acoustics, and a true gem in Mitchell.

The Dakota Discovery Museum is open year-round, though the hours change seasonally. The art exhibits do, too – so if you haven’t visited lately, it’s time to return!

Visit the Dakota Discovery Museum and find out…

What was described as “Too thick to drink, too thin to plow?”

Who – or what – was the “Yellow Fellow?”

Mitchell isn’t just the home of the World’s Only Corn Palace – it’s my home, too. So come on over! Stop in for an afternoon, a weekend, a while.


Jacki Miskimins is the Director of the Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is documenting her experiences rediscovering her hometown. Do you have an idea for a post? Let her know!