In the Midwest, “Knee high by the Fourth of July” indicates how farmers hope their corn is performing. Corn is a big part of the farming economy, a fact acknowledged by the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, my overnight stop on the trip from Naperville to Sheridan, Wyoming. As soon as I checked in to my motel, I went to see the theme for this year.
1892 marked the first year of the Corn Palace’s existence. The current building is the third palace, but every year the current year’s theme is wrought in naturally colored corn and other grains as well as native grasses. Some of the early themes were amazingly elaborate, starting with the very first one in 1892. Inside is an arena used for basketball, graduations, and all sorts of other events. When a friend and I stopped some years ago, she thought it was going to be, pardon the pun, corny. But she thoroughly enjoyed and admired it, as do half a million visitors a year.
This year, rock and roll is featured, “Rock of Ages”. But first, stop by across the street to admire this guy.
There’s a corn theme everywhere.
If you’re traveling by Mitchell, be sure to stop. You’ll be glad you did.