Down by the riverside took on a new meaning in 2011 in South Dakota. Thousands visited the Missouri River dams this summer to see history � record-sized water releases.
That report and more are on the agenda as DAKOTA LIFE, SDPB Television�s signature newsfeature program, begins its 14th season on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.
Despite the flooding, many South Dakotans found time to celebrate, too, and we�ll drop in on Finn Fest in Fredrick, Czech Days in Tabor, Scotty Philip Days in Philip, Bike Week in Sturgis and more. The new 30-minute episode of DAKOTA LIFE also airs: Saturday, Sept. 3, at 1 and 5:30 a.m.; Sunday, Sept. 4, at 5 a.m. & 1 and 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 11, 3:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 25, 10:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 30, 10 p.m.
Some of the highlights are:
� Watching the River Run � The summer of 2011 brought record flooding along the Missouri River and record releases of water from the big dams. Saving homes and property was the top priority in the state but people also came to the riverside by the thousands just to watch this once-in-a-lifetime display of the river�s amazing force.
� Finn Fest � Finnish heritage is celebrated every year in Frederick, a Brown County farm town just a stone�s throw from the North Dakota border. A Finnish-style wife-carrying contest is a highlight of the festival. Competitors race through an obstacle course, testing the limits of both physical endurance and marital harmony. The winning team receives the wife�s weight in beer.
� Czech Days � Tabor celebrates all things Bohemian � traditional music, dancing, and food, including the area�s favorite Czech pastry, the kolache.
� Scotty Philip Days � The legendary rancher credited with saving the American bison, was immigrant, cowboy, gold prospector, and cattle baron. Scotty Philip is part of our nation�s western heritage and the Haakon County town that bears his name pays its respects with special events and a wagon train trip from Philip along the Bad River to Fort Pierre.
� Hansen Wheel and Wagon � Doug Hansen and a staff of skilled craftspeople build new replica versions of Old West stage coaches, wagons, and buggies. The company also restores and preserves old, antique horse-drawn conveyances.