South Dakota’s premiere juried arts festival garners over 200 artists from across the nation to fill the grassy areas of Pioneer Park. Representing 15 different disciplines or art, 38 different ethnic and gourmet food booths, historic displays, and entertainment it can seem hard to tackle; here are some pro tips to pack in as much art into two days as possible.
#1 Wear Comfortable Shoes
You’ll be walking A LOT! The best thing you can do for yourself is to wear your most comfortable walking shoes for the weekend.
#2 Be Prepared for Weather
July is notoriously hot and humid, with the occasional rainstorm. We would love to guarantee the sun will be out, but just to be safe you better be prepared for some rain. We recommend making sure you have a light rain jacket or umbrella for your trip.
#3 Consider Eating Later or Earlier
With so many great food options all in the same place, lines can get pretty long at peak times. Consider waiting or getting in line sooner to beat the lines.
#4 Bring a Large Bag for Carrying all Your Finds
No one likes taking multiple trips to the car, bring a tote bag or small wagon to put your new treasures in while you look.
#5 Try all the Kettle Corn Booths
Trust us. This is a must. Follow the smell of sweet Kettle Corn and get a bag almost as big as you. It’s like a rite of passage to becoming a festival expert.
#6 Leave Your Pets at Home
The festival is an overwhelming environment for animals, leave your furry friends where they will be the most comfortable, at home. Certified service animals are permitted.
#7 Two Words: Turkey Leg
You have not experienced the festival until you have had one. This will be a meal your family won’t forget.
#8 Use the Shuttle
Take the easy way in by hitching a ride. Free shuttle buses pick you up at specific places around town and drop you off right at the main entrance. Parking can be overwhelming closer to the park, the shuttles make the festival more relaxing.
#9 Take an A/C Break
Grab a pint and shop local downtown Brookings, where the cool air is always on. If you park near SDSU, stop in at the South Dakota Art Museum or South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum.
#10 Bring a Smile
Enjoy the art, food and entertainment only found in Brookings for 2 days every year.