GFP News - June 9, 2015
Thousands Attend 2015 Fort Sisseton Festival
Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, shown with Fort Sisseton park manager Chris Soukup and 3 area youth, helped dedicate the last flag to fly over Fort Sisseton. The restored 38-star flag was dedicated at this year’s Fort Sisseton Festival June 6.
PIERRE, S.D. -- The 2015 Fort Sisseton Historical Festival was well attended despite overcast skies on Saturday. This year’s festival boasted a historic dedication, political dignitaries and standing-room-only attendance.
Over 16,500 visitors took in the three-day event, and despite occasional rain showers, camping numbers were up from last year. A number of visitors traveled long distances to attend the festival.
"Many visitors had a similar story," noted Chris Soukup, park manager at Fort Sisseton. "They had heard wonderful things from friends or family about the unique festival and decided to make the venture out."
The dedication of a restored 38-star flag, last flown when the military fort was closed in 1889, was attended by over three hundred people, including legislators, donors and members of the Fort Sisseton Commission. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels and Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) spoke at the dedication, recognizing efforts of volunteers that worked on the project.
A new wagon train event completed its two-day journey on Friday afternoon, with 14 wagons and 40 horses pulling into the Fort.
Other popular events included military and rendezvous encampments, pie-baking contests, stage performances, muzzle-loading rifle shooting competitions and musical performances.