The Top Events you won’t want to miss in the Black Hills this Summer

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Already planning a trip to South Dakota for this summer? There’s no better place to spend your vacation than in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Surrounded by National Parks and Forest, along with numerous attractions, festivities and events, there is a little something for everyone here! Here are just a few of the events happening this summer, that are within driving distance! Don’t forget to check out the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, SD for a fun and educational stop on your journey!

Legends in Light at the Crazy Horse Memorial (Crazy Horse, SD) - May 28 – September 30th

Just outside of Custer lies the brilliant Crazy Horse Memorial, where a magnificent homage to Native American culture and Black Hills history is brought to life every single night. Projected onto the 500-foot mountainside, this experience is like no other as you take in the power of culture and history as told through animation, sounds and lasers choreographed to music. A one-of-a-kind spectacle that is only 20 miles from the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, this could be a great end to a fun day learning and celebrating history and culture in the Black Hills, and America!

Deadwood PBR (Deadwood, SD) - June 11 -- 12th

Live life on the edge of your seat for two days while watching top professional bull riders at the Days of ’76 Arena in Deadwood, SD. The PBR brings the best riders and bulls from all over the country. Only one hour away from Keystone, it is the perfect day trip! Deadwood also offers ample restaurants, lodging and nightlife if you want to stay for the whole weekend!

Sculpture in the Hills (Hill City, SD) - June 18 -- 20th

Just down the road from Keystone in Hill City, SD, and celebrating its 13th year, Sculpture in the Hills is a 3-day art show and sale that allows you to meet and speak with the artists while enjoying food, and entertainment. More than 20 artists participate annually, and high caliber, well-respected local artists jury and judge the event. Local businesses provide sponsorship for prizes, as well as sponsoring the event. The arts are a fundamental part of thriving communities, and events like this allow you to get an inside glimpse of the important role it plays in the Black Hills. Since the sculptures are also for sale, you can even take home a souvenir

Main Street Arts and Crafts Fair (Hot Springs, SD) - June 25 – 27th

Local arts, handmade crafts, delicious food and fantastic music await you in the small town of Hot Springs, only about an hour drive from the Presidential Wax Museum! For three whole days on the last full weekend in June, local artisans, craft persons, woodworkers, jewelers, candlemakers, food vendors and entertainers offer their goods and services and celebrate the arts and culture of the community. Vendors are encouraged to only offer hand-made goods as opposed to machine-made, ensuring high quality and authentic merchandise. There is even a children’s tent at the event to make sure there is something for everyone in the family.

Black Hills Roundup (Belle Fourche, SD) - June 30 – July 4th

This 5-day event is packed full of family fun and held in the quaint, small town of Belle Fourche. Originally started as a fundraiser during World War I, the Black Hills Roundup has since continued to be a patriotic celebration with all the trimmings that an authentic western town has to offer. Enjoy barbecue, a live cowboy band, and a parade among other vendors and exciting events! Technically, Belle Fourche is just slightly North of the Black Hills, but if you don’t tell, we won’t! Calvin Coolidge even made an appearance during his stay in the Black Hills in 1907. If you’d like to learn more about Calvin Coolidge’s stint in the Black Hills, you can learn more here or come visit the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, SD.

Fourth of July in the Black Hills

Home of Mount Rushmore, it comes as no surprise that the Black Hills are very patriotic and have some of the greatest small town Fourth-of-July celebrations you could think of! Celebrate the Fourth surrounded by presidents by visiting the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, SD, the City of Presidents, Rapid City, SD, and Mount Rushmore during your stay! Nearly every town has its own parade, festival, and fireworks to celebrate but here are just a few nearby events to check out:

Hot Springs, SD, starts its festivities bright and early with a 10 am parade at Fall River, followed by a community picnic at 11 am. Head down to Butler Park for a barbeque and activities starting around 4 pm, and fireworks at dusk (9 pm).

Custer’s Old Time Country 4th Celebration in Custer, SD is a great event with youth activities, arts & crafts, parades, flag raising and lowing ceremonies, and, of course: fireworks. (Held at the 1881 Courthouse Museum July 2 -4th.)

Lead, SD, has its three-day long Gold Camp Jubilee Days celebration featuring family-friendly activities, live entertainment, and local vendors. Their annual parade starts at 3 pm in Deadwood and 4 pm in Lead, followed by a firework show at dusk.

Spearfish Festival in the Park (Spearfish, SD) - July 16 – 18th

One of the largest and most popular arts and music festivals in the Midwest, the Spearfish Festival in the Park has over 200 regional vendors offering their goods and services. Visit food and beverage vendors and stop by The Watering Hole to enjoy live music. Most days are free, but one of the nights serves as a fundraiser where wristbands will cost $5. (Proceeds go towards supporting local arts!) Plus, while in Spearfish you can take a scenic drive through Spearfish Canyon for some great photo ops.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD) - August 6 – 15th

Obviously, it wouldn’t be summer in the Black Hills without the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. With live music, daily events, motorcycle rides, and more, you won’t want to miss out on a little fun during the Rally. Focusing on motorcycles and the rock-and-roll lifestyle that accompanies them, the Rally draws people from all walks of life and all parts of the United States – and even the world! Big name bands headline the event, and every day is packed full of entertainment you can’t experience anywhere else!

Central States Fair (Rapid City, SD) - August 20 – 29th

The Central States Fair has it all! Located in the heart of Rapid City, this 9-day event has something for everyone! You’ll enjoy concerts, rodeo, motorsports, and all the great food and rides you can imagine! There will even be entertainment for kids! Enjoy all this and MORE at this year’s Central States Fair!

Kool Deadwood Nites (Deadwood, SD)  - August 25 – 29th

Celebrating its 27th anniversary, Kool Deadwood Nites is a historic Deadwood-style sock hop featuring a parade, classic cars, and live concerts in Outlaw Square. Taking place on Deadwood’s historic Main Street, you will be able to experience all the history and culture of this real-life western town for three whole days! With all the amenities Deadwood has to offer, you may even want to stay for a night or two. Main street offers a wide variety of lodging, restaurants, and night life. You can even try your hand at gambling in one of their many casinos. Akela Spa is even offering parking for the event with a FREE shuttle to Deadwood from 4 pm – 11 pm on Thursday and 9 am – 11 pm, both Friday and Saturday.


Whatever it is that you decide to do this summer, it will definitely be one for the books! Don’t forget to make sure Keystone is on your list! A quaint little western town, Keystone has great shopping, food, and entertainment! Plus, it’s the home of the National Presidential Wax Museum!

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