Summer Nights hosting Military Appreciation Night this Thursday

Military Appreciation Night runs from 6 until 9 p.m. Thursday in downtown Rapid City - and it's free.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Summer Nights has been rocking out downtown Rapid City since 2008, and there’s only three chances left to join in this season. This week is extra special, because it’s Military Appreciation Night.

The nonprofit, entirely volunteer-staffed organization hosts the event weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day.


  • First held in 2008
  • Takes up three city blocks
  • Organized by an all-volunteer board
  • Average attendance is 8,000
  • More than 100 volunteers serve at each event
  • Hosts upwards of 13 different local and regional bands each summer

Summer Nights Crowd

Summer Nights Crowd (file photo)

This week, the MBJ Band from Montana will be playing their rock-and-roll covers, and service members from Ellsworth and the National Guard will be present.

Groups from Ellsworth have been volunteering with set up at Summer Nights for years.

“Getting the airmen from Ellsworth involved and they’re giving back to the community as well. It’s pretty neat and it’s a great relationship that we’ve had with them,” said David Goodwin, who serves on the Summer Nights Board of Directors.

This week’s sponsor, AARP, as well as groups like Mission22 will have booths set up during the event.

All the tips received at the event will go towards a local veterans service organization.

“One of the things we’re doing this year is donating all of our tips to Folds of Honor, which is an incredible organization that helps out and gives scholarships to the family of any fallen service members,” Goodwin said.


Founded in 2007, Folds of Honor is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of military members who died or became disabled while serving in the U.S. military. They support private school tuition or tutoring in grades K-12; tuition for college, technical, or trade school; and post-graduate studies.

Since its beginning, the organization has awarded more than 35,000 scholarships totaling more than $160 million across all 50 U.S. states.

Folds of Honor was founded by Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, the only-ever F-16 fighter pilot with three combat tours in Iraq and PGA professional.

CLICK HERE for more information on Folds of Honor South Dakota.

Military Appreciation Night runs from 6 until 9 p.m. Thursday in downtown Rapid City – and it’s free.

NewsCenter1’s Darsha Nelson will be live from Summer Nights this Thursday, so make sure you tune in for the fun.

CLICK HERE for more information on Summer Nights, including applications to volunteer or serve as a food vendor.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, Local News