Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has a number of organizations embracing British life and culture ranging from sports, history and music. Oh, but why limit ourselves to just one city, we’ve gone ahead and taken a spin around all of SD. Here are 10 British things going on in the state of South Dakota:
1. Siouxland Renaissance Festival
You can travel back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I when entering the Siouxland Renaissance Festival. The nonprofit organization’s mission is “to provide the community with education and an opportunity to participate in family-friendly events with a focus on the Renaissance throughout the year, including an annual festival, other educational programs, and fund-raising events,” through re-enactment and participation. You can find out more about events and entertainment here.
2. SDSU Cricket Team
The cricket club at South Dakota State University, in Brookings, has been competing since 2006. It appears that the club is open to both students ($5 membership fee) and non-students ($10 membership fee). The team plays every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer months through September. You can find out more here.
3. Black Hills Celtic Society
The Black Hills Celtic Society, who works in collaboration with the Sioux Falls Irish Club, hosts a number of events throughout the year celebrating Scottish and Irish culture. You can find out more about the group here, subscribing to the newsletter, or checking out the Facebook page.
4. Scotland, South Dakota
While not actually an event per se, here’s a fun fact: South Dakota has a town named Scotland with a close-knit community made up of 891 people (give or take), based on the 2010 census. The town was given its name by Scottish immigrants in the later part of the 19th century; the county it’s located in was founded in 1862. You can find out more about Scotland, SD here.
5. Wobbly Bobby British Pub
The Wobbly Bobby, located at 510 Main Street, in Rapid City, offers 48 beers on tap and traditional British fare like sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, and devils on horseback. The British pub typically has the most recent edition of the U.K.’s Sunday Times. If that weren’t enough, the pub has a Pint Club, which celebrates your ability to drink pints. You can find out how the club works here.
6. Dakota Pipes and Drums
Dakota Pipes and Drums, formed in 1998, are based in Sioux Falls, performing at parades and concerts throughout South Dakota. The band’s repertoire of music is pulled from the Scottish Highlands with an equally strong Irish piping tradition. You can check out their schedule of events here.
7. The Eastern South Dakota Scottish Athletes
The Eastern South Dakota Scottish Athletes strive to keep up traditions, promoting and educating people in Eastern South Dakota and the Greater Sioux Empire Area about the Scottish Heavy Games. The group, in collaboration with Siouxland Renaissance Association, brings the Scottish Heavy Games to the Siouxland Renaissance Festival at W.F. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls.
8. The Shakespeare Garden and Anne Hathaway Cottage
The Shakespeare Garden, located at 501 Alene Ave. N, in Wessington Springs, was brought to life by an Anglophile. In 1926 an American schoolteacher, by the name of Emma Shay, made a trip to England and brought back foliage from the former homes of famous authors. Shay was so inspired by her trip that she and her husband built a cottage, named after Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway, upon retiring. The cottage was based on the original building in Stratford-upon-Avon. The grounds are named after Shakespeare himself. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cottage and Garden are the site of teas, tours, and special events like weddings. A one-act Shakespeare play or program has been performed in Shakespeare Garden each summer, beginning in 1993.
9. Sioux Falls Crow Rugby
The Sioux Falls Crow Rugby team plays in the Great Plains Rugby Union. The team competes in three seasons: spring, summer, fall. Spring is made up of tournament and friendly matches. The summer is made up of “7s” matches, with teams of seven players versus 15. The fall season determines the Union champion, who goes on to compete in the Westerns Tournament. If you’re interested in playing, or watching, you can find out more here.
10. Cornish Pasties
The Cornish pasty has been a staple in Lead, South Dakota, since 1876, when British
immigrants moved to the area to work at the Homestake Mine in Lead. The workers arrived hoping for a better life, but didn’t leave everything at home, bringing with them their trusty recipe for meat and potatoes wrapped in a flaky crust. The miners, whose hands may have been full of toxins, held the pasty by the crimped edge, and discarded that bit to be safe. You can read the entire story, and find the recipe, at SouthDakota.com.
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