Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls had a unique, never-quite-before-seen celebration Monday. As South Dakota celebrates Native American Day, Sioux Falls held the city’s first-ever parade for the holiday.
Parade organizer Richie Richards of Rapid City says this is about unity.
“We wanted to honor our families that have been living in Sioux Falls for many generations,” Richards said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity to share our culture, share our traditions and bring the community of Sioux Falls together in a positive way in support of Native American Day.”
“I applaud Sioux Falls for starting it,” Donald Loudner of Mitchell said. “‘Cause this should be done all over.”
He believes this parade should be an example for other cities.
“Just a fun day to come out and celebrate, and it’s all about friendship and being connected, and I think the country could learn something from that,” Julie Mulder of Sioux Falls said.
“We want people to understand that our culture is beautiful, and just even within an hour’s drive of Sioux Falls there’s some beautiful indigenous nations with some beautiful culture, regalia, drumming, singing, dancing, all of that,” Richards said.
This was on full display along Phillips Avenue on Monday.
“I think it’s important to respect all cultures, and celebrate them when they can be celebrated, and in South Dakota especially, the Native American culture, which is rich and alive and well in South Dakota,” Mulder said.
Loudner is already looking ahead to another parade.
“We could bring more veterans here next year, and make it a big, big parade,” Loudner said.
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