Sometimes an overnight stop turns into three. And, such is the case for us in Mitchell, South Dakota. After a long drive here Monday we were definitely ready to stop and rest. We liked R&R Campground so much we decided to stick around for a couple more days.
Had we only stayed one night we would have missed this! The Mitchell Corn Palace is the town's number one tourist attraction. We'd heard about it, of course, but had never laid eyes on American's only building with a corn facade. About 275,000 corn cobs and more than 3,000 bushels of rye, milo, oat heads and sour dock adorn the palace, which has stood here on Main Street since 1892.
Every year the exterior is replaced with new decor reflecting a theme. This year's theme is "Through the Ages", and the corn cob murals reflect a variety of modes of transportation. We looked, but we didn't see an RV on the place!
The redecoration process starts in June. The first process is to replace the dock and rye, which was happening today. The murals will be replaced during the Corn Palace Festival in August.
At a gift shop across the street visitors can touch "actual Corn Palace corn". Yep. It looks and feels like real corn to us!
The Corn Palace serves a community venue for sporting events, concerts and such. Today, it was a cool place to beat the heat! Inside there are more murals. We found this corn cob interpretation of our last destination. Interesting.
There were more gift items available for sale inside. And, of course, many of them have something to do with corn. These corn husk dolls were cute.
There were all kinds of corn decoratives, like these candle holders. And, yes, that's right. Those are corn cob candles!
And, there were lots of little gadgets to make fixing and eating corn a bit easier. Yes, it was all pretty corny!
Yep, Mitchell is very proud of corn. The high school athletic teams are the Kernels. (tee hee!) As we were getting ready to go we were visited by the town mascot, (Get ready for it!) Cornelius!
If you find yourself cruising along I-90 and you come upon Mitchell, take a break and check out the corn palace. There's plenty of parking, even for RVs. And, go inside and look around. It's definitely good for a laugh.
And, who knows, you might just decide to stick around for a couple of days! After three fun nights in Mitchell, we're taking our moose home tomorrow...to the booming metropolis of Forest City, Iowa.