Chinook Days Festival

Spearfish, SD — You can find some of the most diverse weather in the world right here in the Black Hills, and Spearfish is the perfect example. On January 22, 19-43 a frontal boundary separating cold arctic air from warmer pacific air pushed along the northern and eastern slopes of the Black Hills causing a drastic change in temperature. In two minutes Spearfish increased 49° from -4° to 45°.

To bring the community together and celebrate the event, Spearfish brothers John and Patrick Williams created Chinook Days. Speaking of the event, they said, 

“We decided to create this event to kind of commemorate and celebrate that wild wacky event that occurred, and it just started with a group of us a while back. Chinook is also a hop variety, and we have a number of breweries here in town. And there was a beer brewed around that time, we said wouldn’t it be fun to release those all at the same time, and make an event out of it. We started talking with other organizations in town, everybody loved the idea, so we just kept rolling with it.”

Two of the organizations involved are the Matthews Opera House and Ski for Light. The opera house will be holding concerts, an art show, as well as a winter film festival, but also provided space for participants to create snow sculptures.

Kyler Flock, the community engagement manager at Matthews Opera House said, 

“I think it goes to show we have a strong culture, where times like this you see the whole community come together and really support this event. We’ve just seen nothing but open arms from everybody in town. And I just think that kind of continues to show how this community grows, is just through bonding through events like this, and all the different organizations involved with Chinook has just opened up a whole new door of opportunities for growth in town. So it’s really positive to bring these kind of events in , and giving people something to do in the winter too.”

Volunteers with Ski for Light can usually be found helping blind/visually impaired and mobility impaired individuals, but this weekend they were at Big Hill Trailhead for the Chinook Winter Carnival. They provided equipment and lessons for cross country skiing, but there were also fat bikes and snowmobiles out on the trails. 

Chris Stover is the newest board member for the Black Hills Regional Ski for Light, and said

“This is a pretty good thing for us to be able to get our equipment out, get it used, and you know it’s also good to meet new people maybe even drum up some new volunteers, we’re always open for new volunteers but again, you’ve gotta be able to laugh and you’ve gotta like hugs.”

Chinook day events will continue this week, and will be a great time for residents and visitors alike to experience the best Spearfish has to offer.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News

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