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Minnehaha County: High Population, High Excitement


PIERRE, S.D. – Minnehaha County is South Dakota’s largest county in terms of population. This locale is home to South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls, and a wide array of unique attractions.

The county received its name from the Sioux word forr waterfalls, meaning "where the water laughs" or "laughing water." Minnehaha County was established in 1862 during the first territorial legislature. In 1873, an act of the territorial legislature established the boundaries of the county as they now exist.

In Brandon, visitors can experience the life of the settlers. Activities at the Homesteader Day Harvest Festival include threshing, old-time farming, antique tractors and equipment displays, pioneer crafts such as quilting, spinning, rope making, butter churning and more. The festival will be held at Beaver Creek Nature Area on September 9, 2007.

The largest free outdoor festival, JazzFest, offers two days of great music, rides, games, arts and crafts, fireworks and more. Named a Top 100 Event by the American Bus Association, the jazz and blues festival was held at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls July 20-21, 2007, and attracted an estimated 95,000 people for a near-record year.

Also in Sioux Falls, travel back in time and explore the Spirit of the West Festival, a three-day event that aims to keep the spirit of the Old West alive. Learn about history or pick up some great western collectibles at this event, where there’s something for everyone. It will take place September 14-16, 2007.

Minnehaha County is also a great stop for golfing, as this county is home to over a dozen different courses. Fast greens and easy-to-walk terrain can be enjoyed along these courses, which offer a wide range in difficulty.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Jennifer Anderson, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


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