Despite the heat, people continue to enjoy Custer’s 99th Gold Discovery Days

CUSTER, SD – People braved the heat and filled the streets Saturday to celebrate Custer’s Gold Discovery Days.

The 99th annual festival started on Friday and will continue on Sunday for people to keep enjoying.

Saturday’s event began at 5:30 a.m. with a hot air balloon rally, followed by a Lion’s Club pancake breakfast, with activities lasting all day.

This weekend is quite busy. For today we have the carnival taking place downtown. There is a car show. We have a few sporting events,” said Queen Kelley Wicks of Gold Discovery Days.

The celebration had a lot to offer and the fun could be seen on many faces.

With a parade at 10am, many people made their way to the carnival right after – or even the car show and arts and crafts festival which were all on the same street. Vendors were also there for people to grab a bite to eat.

It brings our community and our families together. Like, I always have a family group that comes for these events. I know – I’m sure the rest of these guys do – and I think a lot of people can just see their old friends. Gold Discovery Days said Princess Shaylee Gramkow.

Cheers of joy could be heard from the children as sand volleyball and cornhole tournaments enlivened the games.

The days ended with a performance by Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein at the Black Hills Playhouse and a Legends in Light Laser Show at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

“That’s what’s special about Custer and this event is that we’re all one community and we’re all together in this three-day event,” Princess Kellyn Kortemeyer said during Gold Discovery Days.

The party will continue on Sunday with a fun run and a golf scramble, but the carnival will remain open for one last thrill ride.

For more information on Custer’s Gold Discovery Days, you can either contact the Custer Chamber of Commerce at (605) 673-2244 or visit the event’s website.


Here is a list of Sunday activities:

  • hot air balloon rally – 5:30 a.m., Pageant Hill (weather permitting)
  • Gold Rush Fun Run on the Mickelson Trail – 8 a.m. (registration at 7 a.m.), Custer Chamber 615 Washington St.
  • Archery in memory of Tom May – 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for details and directions, call Matt May: (605) 673-1216
  • Black Hills Vineyard and Crossroads – 9 a.m. church service at Way Park in downtown Custer
  • Black Hills Gold Prospecting Club – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., demonstration and hands-on learning, West Dam (west end of Custer)
  • Arts & Crafts Festival – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Washington Street
  • Gold Discovery Day Carnival – 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Washington Street
  • Walt Thomas Memorial Golf Scramble – 1 p.m., Rocky Knolls Golf Course
  • Black Hills Maisonette – 2:00 p.m. show of Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Legends in the Light Laser Show – 9:30 p.m. approximately. (dark), Crazy Horse Memorial

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