What a Summer We Had!

As we sadly count down the days to the end of October, we all look back to the summer of 2011 with big smiles.  What a summer we had!

Our summer began with a bang!  We rocked the Village with a special fundraising concert by the Beach Boys.  Close your eyes for a moment and you went back in time, sitting in your lounge chair on a beach somewhere listening to those great surf songs by America’s answer to the Beatles.  The concert was followed by one of the best fireworks displays this town has seen.  Two lucky individuals went home with surfboards autographed by the Beach Boys.

Our annual Archaeology Awareness Days event in July brought folks from all over to see primitive potters, flint knappers,  early medicinal plant specialists, atlatl experts and a special demonstration of long bows courtesy of Cabela’s.  This is one of our most popular events.

Jerome Kills Small, a professor of Native Language Studies at the University of South Dakota, also joined in us July for an Evening of Storytelling and Friendship.   He told us all trickster stories as we sat around a campfire on a bluff overlooking Lake Mitchell.  It was a most delightful evening!

We were very busy in August .  The staff now gives guided tours throughout the Village and they were busy every day.  Cabela’s invited us to do an outreach program at their store on Saturdays; it was a lot fun to do and it brought many more visitors to the Village.  They have invited us to return next summer.

One of our favorite events was in September: Lynn Moroney, a Chickasaw  Skyteller from Oklahoma, gave us an evening of star stories.  After her performance, the Sioux Empire Astronomy Club set up telescopes and let us peer into space to see nebulae and galaxies!  Almost 150 people came for this great event.

We observed National Archaeology Day on October 22nd with a display of posters from around the world.  Some of the posters were created by archaeologists from overseas.  We also displayed few artifacts from other archaeological sites in the United States.  The poster display featured a poster of the penultimate archaeologist, Indiana Jones.

Throughout the season we welcomed school tours to the Village.  Over 1,000 students from all over South Dakota and neighboring states learned about our early inhabitants.  We also welcomed over 10,000 visitors from around the world!

Soon, we close the doors for the winter.  While we won’t be welcoming visitors to our unique site we will still be working hard.  There is so much to do: we have to finish our student research library and change the office into something more functional.  Most of all, though, we have to raise money for all the new projects and exhibits we wish to have for the summer of 2012.

One of the ways we raise funds is through our membership program.  There are many benefits to becoming a member of the Village and we ask that you, too, consider joining us.  Memberships begin at just $25, less than what you would spend in a month for your coffees and lattes!   For more information, please check out our website at www.mitchellindianvillage.org, stop by the Village, call us at 605-996-5473 or send us an email at info@mitchellindianvillage.org.  We cannot do all the wonderful things we do without you!

A young visitor tests his atlatl skills.  The Thomsen Center Archeodome is in the background.