Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mitchell's Corn Palace is a playground for punsters

Corn Palace, punsters' delight. Photo by Judy Wells.
Judy says, You can create bushels of corny puns in 120 years, which is how long the city fathers and mothers of Mitchell, S. D., have been creating the Corn Palace.

First Corn Palace, Photo by Judy Wells.
Punning is contagious and what began as a way to attract more settlers to the town by showing what could be done and celebrating the harvest as well, has become an exercise in alternating corny puns and groans.

Fry it, eat it, Photo by Judy Wells.

During the annual festival you also corn-sume fried cookie dough, oreos, candy bars and anything else that fits on a stick or in a deep fat fryer provided by many corn-cessions.
You can also nibble on a fresh ear of corn. Photo by  Judy Wells.

Amazingly realistic panels fill the sides. Photo by Judy Wells.
Actually it is a sight to see, the huge building cob-bled together and decorated outside with scenes and designs all of 13 shades of corn, plus grains, grasses and sour dock weed - 3,000 bushels of grains and grasses, 275,000 ears of corn (each one halved!) and a ton of of nails and wires at a cost of $172,000.

Some 300,000 to 500,000 visitors come annually to gawk. And pun.

Each year a new theme is chosen and a designer creates 12 new panels to fit; 2012's theme was youth athletic activities, 2013's is We Celebrate (the first panel is being "cornstructed now).

Follow the ears inside. Photo by  Judy Wells.

Each year a farmer must grow 13 varieties of corn, each in a field separated by another crop so the air-pollinating plants won't have their colors altered.

Meanwhile, for the 15,000 residents of Mitchell, the interior is their city center.

Setting up for a band. Photo by  Judy Wells.
The high school basketball team, the Kernels, play there; their mascot, Cornelius, cavorts and stay-at-homes are all ears as it is broadcast over WKORN radio (the school's yearbook is The Maize). Concerts are performed as are weddings, meetings, proms and graduation exercises.

And puns are collected and rehearsed for next year.

Cornelius. Photo by  Judy Wells.

The adventure continues.....

1 comment:

  1. Hi this is Val at the Ramkota. Could one of you ladies please call me. I can fax your fee waiver to you if I have a number to fax it to

    Val (front desk)