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GFP News - June 29, 2015

State Park Visitors are Advised to Leave Fireworks at Home

PIERRE, S.D. -- The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is a busy time in South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking state park visitors to leave fireworks at home.

According to Doug Hofer, state parks director, campgrounds are traditionally busy with campers and other visitors enjoying the parks during this time period.

"Combining fireworks and large numbers of people creates a dangerous situation," said Hofer. "We appreciate it when visitors do their part to  help keep the parks safe and fun."

Discharging fireworks is prohibited on all lands owned or leased by GFP. The ban includes state parks, recreation areas, lakeside use areas, game production areas and nature areas. Discharging fireworks is also illegal within the boundaries of the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District, national forests and national parks in South Dakota.

For more information on the South Dakota State Parks, visit or call 605-773-3391.


State Parks Celebrate Fourth of July

PIERRE, S.D. -- July begins with a bang with America’s Independence Day. As picnics, firework shows and barbeques celebrate the United States of America, state parks are also busy with festivities.

Friday, July 3

Saturday, July 4


Riders Can Still Register for 18th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek

PIERRE, S.D. -- Openings still exist for riders to take part in the 18th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek. The deadline for early registration is July 1 for the Sept. 18-20 ride. After that, merchandise is not included with registration.

Registration can be completed online by visiting Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Riders on the Trail Trek will cover 109 miles of the trail over three days, from Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 20. The registration fee includes the trail pass, shuttle service, commemorative souvenirs, refreshments and some meals during each day's ride. Riders are responsible for accommodations and mechanical support. The ride is open to all bicyclists 14 years of age or older.

The Trail Trek highlights the George S. Mickelson Trail as it winds through the heart of the Black Hills from Edgemont to Lead/Deadwood. The ride began as a celebration of the completion of the rails-to-trails project. It continues today to introduce new bicyclists to the trail and thank supporters for their long-standing enthusiasm for the Black Hills trail.

For more information on the Mickelson Trail or the Trail Trek, visit or contact the Black Hills Trail office at 605-584-3896.


Northern Fort Playhouse Celebrates Tenth Season

LAKE CITY, S.D. -- The tenth season of Northern Fort Playhouse Productions Summer Theatre will commence this July. This season, Forever Plaid by Stuart Ross and Around the World in 80 Days, adapted by Mark Brown from the Jules Verne novel, will be acted in the historic South Barracks at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park and Northern State University’s Department of Theater have collaborated with the Northern Fort Playhouse Foundation for 10 years now to present plays in the unique setting of the historic fort.

The performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings; July 10 through July 25 with Sunday matinees on July 12 and 19.  A special midweek matinee will be presented on July 24.

"The plays draw support from the local communities and the students from Northern State University do such an amazing job," says Christopher Soukup, park manager at the Fort. "It's the perfect way to see the beauty of the park and the talent of the region all in one place."

In addition to a historical setting and quality entertainment, refreshments and meals are offered at some of the performances. Friday night showings offer a wine and cheese reception showcasing local wineries, while local caterers will serve a dinner theater on Saturday showings and luncheons on Sunday showings.

The Fort will host its annual Lantern Tour: Walk the Fort Grounds on Saturday, July 25, following the performance. This tour is held by lantern light and includes stories of the past and present during a tour of the historic grounds.

The varied performance schedule provides an opportunity to catch both shows at convenient times:

Forever Plaid
Friday, July 10, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 12, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.

Around the World in 80 Days
Saturday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15, 2:30 p.m. -- Special Group Tour Matinee Performance
Friday, July 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 19, 2:00 p.m.
Friday, July 24, 7:30 p.m.

The Northern Fort Playhouse offers a Ride Line from Aberdeen with stops in Groton and/or Webster, as requested. The cost is $8 per person, round trip. To make a reservation or for more information, call 605.467.3247 or email

For menus, directions and additional information visit or call 605.467.3247.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off South Dakota Highway 10. For additional information about the historical fort, visit or call 605.448.5474.


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