De Smet readies itself for upcoming Old Settlers Day festivities

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Old Settlers Day is the longest running celebration in South Dakota.


This weekend, we celebrate the 126th year of Old Settlers Day in Kingsbury County.


Old Settlers Day traditionally was celebrated on June 10, no matter what day of the week June 10 happened to fall on.


For the past couple of decades, it became more practical to celebrate on the Saturday closest to June 10, but many longtime residents still refer to the celebration as the tenth of June.


The weekend celebration kicks off with music and dancing. Street Legal will play from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday at the 3rd Street Bar & Grill. Wheaties Sports Bar will feature   Norgaard Country Music Duo Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Cowboy Roy Karaoke from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at a street dance in front of the bar.


Saturday’s activities open with the second annual Wilder 5K Walk-Run. Participants will meet at the Oxbow Restaurant parking lot. The adult walk-run begins at 8 a.m. and the children’s walk-run starts at 9 a.m.


Kelly Van Dyke-Van Hull will sign copies of her book “Tent City” at Ward’s Store from 10 a.m.-noon.


Registration for people who have lived in Kingsbury County for 40 or more years is from 10 a.m-1 p.m. at the Loftus Store.


The parade begins at noon. The theme of the 2013 parade is “All Eyes on You.”


One of the parade entrants,  Groove Drum Line, will perform on Calumet Avenue following the parade.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society is sponsoring a storytelling event from 2-4 p.m.  at the Christian Missionary and Alliance Church. Storytellers from Rapid City and Yankton will entertain the audience.


Free bouncy inflatable amusements and a mechanical bull will be set up on Calumet Avenue following the parade, and there will be an opportunity to play laser tag. Other attractions are face painting, children’s games and an obstacle course. There is free admission to the city pool on Saturday.


Food booths, a flea market and craft vendors will be on hand. Ruth Beyer will give lessons on how to use recycled items to create new treasures.


A street dance Saturday night will benefit the De Smet Fire Department. Street Legal performs for the early crowd from 4-8 p.m. and Powerhouse will perform from 9 p.m.-2 a.m.


A pancake feed from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday will be held at the De Smet American Legion Hall. A free-will offering will cover costs and benefit the American Legion.

Many things have changed in the way we celebrate Old Settlers Day over the years, yet many things remain the same.


The celebration began on a farm near Esmond in 1887. It was moved to De Smet in 1889 and the town’s first Old Settler’s Day Parade took place in 1890. The June 15, 1890, issue of The De Smet Leader details the story of the first parade and 



“Last Saturday, June 10, will be long remembered by De Smet and Kingsbury County people. It was the greatest day ever seen within our county.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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