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GFP News - June 27, 2013

Celebrate Independence Day with S.D. State Park Events

PIERRE, S.D. -- The Fourth of July is always a busy time at state parks across South Dakota. If you are planning to be at a state park during the holiday period, make plans to attend one of the following events.

There is no cost to participate in any of the events, although park entrance licenses are required. Visitors are encouraged to dress according to the weather. All participants in the bike parades are encouraged to wear helmets and appropriate shoes.

For more information on activities in South Dakota state parks, visit, contact the individual park office, or call 605-773-3391.


Northern Fort Playhouse Takes Center Stage at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park in July

LAKE CITY, S.D. -- The Northern Fort Playhouse will present Swingtime Canteen and The Friendly Hour during its eighth season at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park throughout July.

Northern State University's Department of Theater and Fort Sisseton Historical State Park have joined with Northern Fort Playhouse Foundation to develop a summer playhouse of fine arts entertainment for park audiences.

"We are excited that the South Barracks will be transformed into a theater this July," said Katie Ceroll (sir ‘RUHL), Fort Sisseton park manager. "Combining drama with the serene atmosphere and natural beauty of the lakes and prairies will make for a nice evening. This will be a highlight of our summer season."

The performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings through July 20 with Sunday matinees on July 7 and 14. To make the event even more special, a wine and cheese reception has been added to the Friday night performances, a dinner theatre is offered on Saturday evenings and a luncheon precedes the play on Sunday afternoon. All meals are catered locally. The varied performance schedule provides an opportunity to catch both shows at convenient times:

Swingtime Canteen

The Friendly Hour

The Northern Fort Playhouse offers a Ride Line from Aberdeen with stops in Groton and/or Webster, as requested. The cost is $8 per person, round trip.

For menus, directions and additional information visit or call 605-467-3247.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off South Dakota Highway 10. For additional information about the historical fort, visit or call 605-448-5474.


State Parks Offers Summer Nature Camps for Kids

PIERRE, S.D. -- Three state parks are hosting nature day camps for kids ages 7-12. The camps are a great way for kids to explore the surrounding recreation area and focus on the outdoors.

Oakwood Lakes State Park near Volga is hosting a day camp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 9. Prepare for games, crafts and campfire cooking! Call 605-627-5441 to register.

"Track Detectives" at Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs is Wednesday, July 10, from 9:30 a.m. to noon MDT. Learn about the many animals of the area, how to identify common animal tracks, and make an animal track to take home. Call 605-745-6996 for more information or to register.

Palisades State Park near Garretson will teach participants about nocturnal animals with a hands-on lesson, craft project, hike/walk and games on July 11 at 9 a.m. CDT. This qualifies as a Junior Naturalist program. Call 605-394-3824 for more information and to register.

While the camps are geared for kids ages 7-12, younger children may attend if accompanied by an adult. Kids are reminded to wear clothing appropriate for the weather, and also bring bug spray, drinking water and shoes comfortable for walking. Sandals are not appropriate. No snacks or refreshments will be provided, but kids are welcome to bring their own. There is no fee for the camp; however a park entrance license is required to enter state parks and recreation areas.

For a complete list of state park events, visit South Dakota state parks on the web at


State Park Visitors Should Leave Fireworks at Home

PIERRE, S.D. -- The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is always a busy time in South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. If you plan to celebrate at the parks, Game, Fish and Parks Department officials ask you to please leave fireworks at home.

According to Doug Hofer, state parks and recreation director, campgrounds are traditionally very busy with campers and other visitors enjoying the parks during the Independence Day period.

"Combining fireworks and large numbers of people creates a dangerous situation," said Hofer. "We appreciate your help to keep the parks safe and fun this Fourth of July."

Discharging fireworks is prohibited on all lands owned or leased by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. The ban includes state parks, recreation areas, lakeside use areas, game production areas and nature areas. Discharging fireworks is also illegal within the boundaries of the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District, national forests and national parks in South Dakota.

For more information on the South Dakota State Parks, visit or call 605-773-3391.


SD State Parks Remind Visitors to Practice Mosquito Prevention

PIERRE, S.D. -- After the wet spring, the South Dakota Division of Parks and Recreation is reminding people to take measures to protect themselves from mosquitoes while outdoors this summer.

"The best prevention is to become knowledgeable on the subject," says Doug Hofer, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. "By implementing just a few steps to decrease personal contact with mosquitoes, we can make outdoor experiences much more enjoyable this summer."

To prevent mosquito bites, the South Dakota Department of Health suggests the following steps:

For more information on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, visit the Department of Health's website at Information on South Dakota state parks can be found online at or by calling 605-773-3991.


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