Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Dakota America 250 commission considers celebration plans

The America 250 South Dakota Executive Commission is looking for ways to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of our country.

As the nation prepares for its 250 year anniversary, a national council has been established to encourage all states and territories to participate in celebrating.

The South Dakota commission has ideas on how they want to celebrate leading up to 2026.

The commission’s plan includes “250 Miles for 250 Years.” The ultimate goal is to complete 250 miles of outdoor exercise while visiting historic locations throughout the state between July 4, 2024 and July 4, 2026. Anyone who takes part can earn prizes based on miles completed and locations they visit.

Nick Harrington is the Communications Manager for South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. He presented ideas on how individuals could get involved.

“If you did 100 miles of Deadwood, or if you did maybe a cultural site like Ft. Sisseton State Park, Mt. Rushmore, the capital, or even the South Dakota State Fair. So, couple of ways for people to earn those prizes. Again, whether it’s going out at Pierre Kid Farm Island, just gets a whole bunch of miles over the next couple of summers, or kind of tour the state and do a variety of things,” said Harrington.

The plan would involve participants to self-report their mileage and travel locations. The commission is seeking to advertise and gain sponsors to develop a prize system.

Benjamin Jones is the chair of the committee and State Historical Society. He said the commission also desires tribal partnership.

“This year, in fact maybe three days ago, was the 100th anniversary of Calvin Coolidge signing the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. The historical society should mark that occasion in some regard, and I thought maybe this could be one of the things that we would do on a campus as apart of America 250," said Jones. "In a sense, proving up to the declaration. The citizenship that was granted by that federal statue in 1924.”

Two members of the board will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with representative members of each state and territory to discuss the celebration.

Federal Agencies will share updates on their semiquincentennial plans which kicks off at the Great Hall of the Library of Congress July 9.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.