The Group Travel Leader

FEB 2017

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E Another popular time to visit the monument is for the two night blasts held each year in honor of Korczak and his wife, Ruth, who began the project with Chief Standing Bear. For each night blast, fireballs and pyrotechnics spectacularly light the monument and a ceremonial blast is detonated on the sculpture. The first night blast of 2017 will take place June 26, and the second will be September 6. Groups visiting during the summer season can also see the nightly light displays on the mountain. WWW.CRAZYHORSEMEMORIAL.ORG W hat began as a project to honor local Western heroes has since become an international attraction in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial honors four notable U.S. presidents carved onto the granite cliff face. Groups should make sure to stop in at the Sculptor's Studio near the base of the Presidential Trail. Here groups can see the space where Borglum planned and led the work on the monument for the duration of the project. Among the notable items on display are the models and tools Borglum used. During the summer, groups can enjoy the many ranger talks offered about the history of the site or stop in at the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village to learn more about the tribes and their histories in the Black Hills. Groups will not want to miss the Evening Lighting Program, which offers views of the sculpture as it is highlighted against the night sky. The Needles Highway is also popular with groups for its stunning views created by the road's twists and turns through the mountains around Mount Rushmore. Groups interested in including Mount Rushmore in their Black Hills itineraries will find Rapid City to be a great home base for exploring. Rapid City is close to Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and many of the other popular attractions of the Black Hills. WWW.NPS.GOV/MORU T he waterfalls on the Big Sioux River were a destination for native tribes for many years before they became the heart of a new city, Sioux Falls, when investors sought to built a hydroelectric plant and flour mill in 1856. The milling enterprise has long since shut down, but the falls have endured as a popular location for the townspeople and visitors alike. "The falls may not be the geographical center of Sioux Falls, since they're located on the edge of downtown, but it is really the heart of the city," said Krista Orsack, director of marketing for Visit Sioux Falls. "The park is also a prime location for a number of outdoor events that take place in Sioux Falls," Orsack said. Events are held at the park throughout the year, among them the popular Festival of Cultures, Germanfest and the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Winter, however, is when the park really comes to life. The annual Winter Wonderland celebration is a major event. From the Friday before Thanksgiving through the first weekend of January, the park is lit with more than 350,000 lights, and about 270 trees are decorated. The falls are also lit with color-changing lights for a special viewing experience. WWW.VISITSIOUXFALLS.COM T he Knife River Indian Villages is a historic site that preserves three villages that made up the well-known center of trade at the time of the Louisiana Purchase and were home to Sacagawea and her people. The national park site is in present-day Stanton, North Dakota. Groups visiting the site can walk along the trails to the remains of the three villages or stay close to the visitors center, where they can see a reconstructed earth lodge. There is also a museum featuring the many artifacts excavated at the site and a Hidatsa-style garden where groups can learn about how people lived at the site. Events at the park this year include a guided photography hike led by local photographers in May. In June, there will be a special flint-knapping event where "anyone from novice to experts can learn traditional and modern flint-knapping techniques from the teachers," said Alisha Deegan, chief of interpretation at the MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL KEYSTONE, SOUTH DAKOTA FALLS PARK SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA Courtesy NPS Courtesy NPS TODAY, MOUNT RUSHMORE IS KNOWN AS A WORLD-CLASS ATTRACTION DRAWING GROUPS FROM ACROSS THE U.S. AND ABROAD. KNIFE RIVER INDIAN VILLAGES STANTON, NORTH DAKOTA

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