Spearfish celebrates 3rd Annual Chinook Days

SPEARFISH, S.D. — Chinook Days Winter Carnival celebrates Spearfish’s world record for the fastest temperature change. The temperature rose from negative four degrees to 45 degrees, which is a 49 degree temperature change in under two minutes.

Chinook winds happen when a moist front or weather system loses its precipitation in the mountains. The cold air dries out and sinks rapidly down the mountain slope, and the compression and speed increase causes the air to warm very quickly.

At times, it can warm up by five to seven degrees with every 1,000 foot drop!

So, the temperature at the foot of the mountains can rise very quickly, and then fall quickly too, once the chinook wind passes.

Chinook Festival 1Spearfish chooses to celebrate mother nature’s power by spending some time in her presence.

“Winter carnival is just a fun event. The best part of it is just the comradery of everyone coming out to celebrate winter in the hills. So whether there’s a lot of snow or a little snow like this year, we all love coming out and celebrating what we can do outside,” says event coordinator John Williams.

Despite the lack in recent snow, there was still plenty of winter activities for the whole family.

“We’ve got a lot of fat bike events and we’re going to do some slow races in the meadow over here, and kid pulls and keg-pulls and snowshoe races and just kind of some fun stuff like that,” adds Patrick Williams, also an event coordinator. 

Festivities started on January 15 and will continue through January 22, with different events and live music all week.

“We have on Wednesday night a poker tour through Spearfish, visiting a a lot of the breweries and bars and just a fun time to get outside, and then on Friday night we have at The Barn at Aspen Acres The Big Freeze, they’re doing a winter ski film with some fun giveaways and kind of a dance party afterwards,” says John Williams. 

The full event schedule can be found here.

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