Between Shopping and Presidents its a bit Corny

Trip Start Jun 04, 2010
Trip End Sep 08, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Left Bloomington this morning around 9am and continued heading East towards South Dakota Along Interstate 90.  We learned today that I-90 is the longest interstate in the country.  It runs over 3,000 miles between Boston and Seattle.  We will be staying on this interstate almost all the way through South Dakota.  After traveling a long way on the open prairie we decided to stop and spend the night in Mitchell, ND. 

The drum major of the agricultural parade on this wide open wedge of land is corn, the Prairie Gold. Wheat, rye and sorghum have their boosters, but its corn that fattens the hogs, sweetens the muffins and puts the starch in shirt collars.

The needle of the corn compass points to Mitchell, a prairie town that is corn crazy and proud of it. Mitchell's high school sports teams are the Kernels. Its local radio station's call letters are KORN. Most importantly Mitchell is home to the "agricultural showplace of the world," the Mitchell Corn Palace.

The infamous Corn Palace serves as a multi-use center for the community and region. The facility hosts stage shows, as well as sports events in its arena. The World's Only Corn Palace is an outstanding structure which stands as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota.
The original Corn Palace, called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The third and present building was completed for it first festival at the present location in 1921. The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist.  Best of all there is no charge to visit this one of its kind articultural building (art + agricultural).
The Palace, with its mad mix of onion domes and minarets (tall spires), looks like it was drop-kicked out of czarist Russia
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 "earchitecture." 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 Weekends and winter sets in, local pigeons and squirrels make a feast of the tasty murals.
Look closely at the pictures; you can see there are many ears of corn that went into the creations.  It was quite amazing to see in person.

God bless each and every person who put each ear of corn, each piece of grain in and on the palace.  Also, bless all my friends and readers.  May God take care of the Iraqis today and in the future as we call this ugly war to an end.  May this chapter of our lives bring peace in the world and pray that our love of our country continues to unite us in pray for peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world.
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