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February 14, 2018 10:01 PM

Sioux Falls Prepares For Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic

These next few days are for the birds, Pheasants and Quail that is. The 2018 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic is taking over Sioux Falls starting Friday and ending Sunday. 

Every inch of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Convention Center and Arena will be filled with vendors hoping to wow outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country. 
Upwards of 27,000 visitors are expected to show up. 

We'll show you how local businesses are taking part and how the Convention and Visitors Bureau is preparing for one of the biggest conventions Sioux Falls has ever seen.

Visitors from all over the country flock to South Dakota every year for pheasant hunting season. While it may not be fall now, many of those same people are coming back this month for Pheasant Fest. 

"The comradery. Being outside. The tranquility of walking a field and the good memories of looking back on friends and family that were there," Lee Anderson with A Homestead Brew said. 

Lee Anderson is an avid hunter. He's also a big fan of beer. The owner of A Homestead Brew in Valley Springs is combining his two passions in support of the 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Sioux Falls this week.  

Anderson and his wife are partnering with Pheasants Forever to make what's being called a Pheasantennial Vienna Lager. 

"We made a 10 barrel batch, which is about 310 gallons. So it's pretty limited, pretty special, just for this event," Anderson said. 

The Lincoln High School graduates have been commercially brewing for eight months now. They also grow their own hops right here next to their brewery and tap room. If you want to taste their bird-themed batch of beer, Anderson says it's available starting Thursday and you won't have to look far.  

"The Convention Center, the Ramkota, the Ramada, a lot of the places that this is going to be held at and then numerous bars throughout town," Anderson said. 

Other businesses are also being encouraged to go all out for Pheasant Fest. 

"We're seeing orange. We're eating, sleeping orange right now," Teri Schmidt with the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau said. 

Teri Schmidt with the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau is sending out 200 posters for local shops to hang at their locations. She says if things go well with the massive event, Sioux Falls could be placed in the regular rotation of host cities.  

"Have a pheasant party. Put signs in your windows because these people are going to be driving all over town. Numbers now are upwards of 27,000 people expected. They're going to be all over Sioux Falls. If you see a poster that says, Welcome Me, I'm going to feel good about that. That's what we want people to feel," Schmidt said. 

Eastbank Art Gallery at 8th & Railroad Center is doing its part.

"We said what can we do to get people to come into our place?" Ruthmary Jackson with Eastbank Art Gallery said. 

Matt Holsen: If you come to the gallery, you're going to find about 25-30 pieces of art specially created by members to be here during Pheasant Fest. 

And they're all for sale. 

"It's a wide range of artistic expression in my opinion and I like that. That's the kind of art I like to create. Things that nobody else has seen before. I think that we have a nice variety and I hope the community will enjoy it," Jackson said. 

It's just one of many offerings around Sioux Falls during the big convention, an event for people interested in pheasants, quail, conservation and bird dogs. It's also about passing on the hunting heritage to future generations. Whatever the reason visitors are coming to town, the CVB hopes they are welcomed with open arms.  

"It will just be busy all over town. We are so excited, I can't tell you," Schmidt said. 

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