Summer Nights strives to provide a safe and fun event for everyone

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Summer Nights strives to provide free, fun, and most importantly safe events to the Rapid City public each year.

5 26 Summer Nights Fountains Sotvo100 00 17 08still001Since 2008, Summer Nights offers a weekly concert series every Thursday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day, to showcase downtown Rapid City. A variety of country and rock bands take center stage while participants dance in the streets and an array of food and beer vendors are available.

At Summer Nights’ most recent board meeting, common concerns that participants have had over the last couple of weeks were discussed and the organization felt the need to reiterate some of their safety policies to the public.

“One of them was we had a lot of dogs in the facility, and we know that not all of them, are service animals. Service animals are definitely allowed into our event. But, you know, emotional support dogs and the likes are, you know, just starting to become a little bit too much for us to handle with 5,000 to 10,000 people down there,” said Judd Nielsen, Summer Nights Board President.

Nielsen said that Summer Nights adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations regarding public access to service animals.

The other safety policies that the board felt were important to notify the public of include that weapons of any kind are not allowed at the event. Neither are large bags, backpacks, and coolers, in which weapons and alcohol can easily be hidden in. Diaper bags are the exception but the contents of the bag will be checked at the gate. Outside food and beverages are also not allowed.

“Some people don’t quite understand that, but it’s a private event. That we pay a permit fee to the city and is free to the public. So it’s not really any different than if you paid for a concert ticket at the Civic Center. That’s a common procedure in all of the larger events that happen in the area or nationally. You know, we want to make sure that people understand our policies. We want to eliminate the headaches so that when people come, they can enjoy the event,” he said.

Nielsen adds that it takes a small army of volunteers to pull off the success of the event, around 100 volunteers each week and they are a “fully a 100 percent volunteer ran organization”.

“Following policies and procedures are a little bit tough on the streets. We try to do a good job of it. We do rely on our participants to help us. You know, if they see something, please come to a red shirt, a volunteer and say something. We just want to continue to make this event very fun for everyone who attends it,” he said.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, Evergreen, Local News, South Dakota News