SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 2019 marks a big milestone for the Washington Pavilion in downtown Sioux Falls. It’s celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The downtown Sioux Falls building has a long history. Up until 1992 the building housed Washington High School. In October of 1993 voters in Sioux Falls approved to issue sales tax revenue bonds for the Washington Pavilion and a convention center. This was to be financed by an entertainment tax. But not without a close margin. The vote passed 51% to 49%. It then opened up to the public in June of 1999.

Several people make their way to the Washington Pavilion daily. Including 3rd grade teacher from Okoboji Elementary, Emily Lindgren.  Wednesday, she brought her students for a class field trip.

“We’re able to come and kids get hands-on learning experience with the different science standards that they are expected to learn and it just gives them a whole other experience than we can give in the classroom,” 3rd grade teacher at Okoboji Elementary, Emily Lindgren said.

President and CEO, Darrin Smith says the Washington Pavilion offers something for everyone.

“We had over 1,800 events in the building last year, so it’s a very, very active building in downtown Sioux Falls,” President and CEO of Washington Pavilion, Darrin Smith said. “We have school kids in here almost every day, Broadway shows at night, science center, visual arts center, we have a café, you name it.”

Wednesday, Washington Pavilion staff announced an anniversary celebration. There will be a day long festival the first day of June, plus other activities throughout the month.

“As we are coming up on the 20th anniversary mark that we are hitting our stride, we are hitting on all cylinders so we just want to keep going and growing and I think that’s what the community will see is future growth out of the Washington Pavilion,” Smith said.

A successful 20 years leaving people looking forward to visiting again.

“We know talking to our students from last year that this is one of the highlights of their third grade year so hopefully it will be an experiences we are able to continue,” Lindgren said.