Saturday, August 28, 2010

Corn Palace

Here's one for the "only in America" list:  the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.  From the Roadside America website:

Mitchell's Corn Palace is built out of reinforced concrete, not corn. Every spring, however, its exterior is completely covered with thousands of bushels of native South Dakota corn, grain and grasses that are arranged into large murals. Typical yearly themes are South Dakota Birds or A Salute To Agriculture; this past year's was Youth In Action.

 Locals take great pride in the Palace's "corn-septual art" and "ear-chitecture." Mitchell isn't called the Corn Capital of the World for nothing.  Corn Palace Week marks the end of the harvest - and the beginning of the planning for next year's Palace theme.

The Corn Palace has one more title - the World's Largest Bird Feeder. After Corn Palace Week ends and winter sets in, local pigeons and squirrels make a feast of the tasty murals.

Turns out this week is Corn Palace Week.  The line up of performers includes Kenny Rogers, Gary Allan, Bjorn Again - the ABBA Experience, the Village People, a couple comedians and a magician.  The town is corn crazy - the local sports team is called the Kernels and the call letters of the local radio station are KORN.

The image of the birds and squirrels descending on the building for the winter is a bit unsettling actually - think the Hitchcock movie "The Birds".  Winter must come early to South Dakota, and I can picture the birds gathering in the Bad Lands, waiting for their opportunity to swoop in and start feasting!

A shout out to Duke and Sandy for sending this postcard from their cross country road trip!

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