Mitchell – On Thursday, the entertainment lineup for the 2023 Corn Palace Music Festival was finally announced.
Corn Palace Director Doug Greenway announced that country music star Michael Ray will lead the festival’s opening concert on Friday, August 25th. Ray has a number of hits, including “Kiss You in the Morning,” which has reached the top country charts.
The Rock of Ages Band will take to the Corn Palace stage on Saturday night, August 26th. Greenway said the Rock of Ages Band is not a popular Broadway show, but a concert band playing ’80s hits.
“We’ll also have all the free entertainment at the Corn Palace Plaza for the rest of the night,” Greenway said of the outdoor concert.
Over the past few years, there have been as many as four ticketed shows. However, this year’s festival will feature two major entertainments. During the festival, local artists will perform on the Plaza Stage on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
The 2023 Corn Palace Music Festival, announced Thursday, ends a long wait for music fans in the Mitchell area. Typically, entertainment for the Corn Palace Festival is announced in late winter or early spring, well before the end-August event. Greenway said securing action this year was a challenge.
As the summer wore on, there were no announcements about the upcoming festival lineup, prompting Mayor Bob Everson to send a stern push to the Corn Palace Events and Entertainment Committee in early June. The board was tasked with agreeing on an entertainment lineup, but they were unable to agree on several artists, including country musicians Koe Wetzel and Scotty McCreery.
“In my opinion, you should be thinking about what we’re going to do in 2024 at this stage of the game, rather than trying to find someone to stay here in 2023,” Everson told the Corn Palace board of directors in early June. “So what I’m saying to you is, go all out and get this done.”
In addition to the musical entertainment, the August 23-27 festival will feature carnival rides, pedal-pulls for local kids and food vendors.
Sam Fosness joined Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his studies at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, graduating in 2020 with a BA in Journalism with a minor in English. During college, Forsnes worked as a news and sports reporter for the Volante.