It is time to dust off your mood ring, put on your smiley face and dig that lime green leisure suit out of your closet for the next big event at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre!
The ‘70s Celebration! will be held from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. CDT on Saturday, May 12. Historical presentations, crafts, a photo contest and a disco dance highlight the day’s activities. The event is being held in conjunction with the new exhibit “The Spirit of the ‘70s” on display in the Hogen Gallery in the museum. There is no fee to attend the program, but attendees are asked to make a freewill donation. Refreshments will be served.
“We have a lot of activity taking place,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society. “There is a little something for everyone to enjoy as we journey back in time to the 1970s. With our craft activities, the opportunity to visit the ‘70s exhibit and participate in the photo contest, this really shapes up to be a fun event for the whole family. We have a few surprises as well, so I think that people are going to have a terrific day – or a ‘groovy experience’ as they would have said in the ‘70s.”
Two historical presentations will be held during the day. At 11 a.m., Museum Director Jay Smith will make a presentation entitled “Come On Get Happy: American Popular Culture in the 1970s.” At 2 p.m., noted South Dakota historian Dr. John Miller will make his presentation entitled “George McGovern in the 1970s.”
Visitors will be invited to make pet rocks and macramé jewelry from 10a.m.-4 p.m. Both were popular activities in the ‘70s.
A photo contest will be held from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. with prizes for the top contestant in three categories: best disco pose, funkiest hairstyle and grooviest outfit. Contest winners will receive prizes donated by the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation.
A disco dance will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the lobby of the center. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served, and there is no fee to attend the dance.
“We want to make it clear that the photo contest will go on to 9 p.m. and that the museum will be open so visitors can enter the contest and visit the museum even if they do not wish to join in the dance activities,” said Smith.
There are no activities scheduled from 4:30-5:30 p.m. but the museum exhibit and photo contest will remain open.
“The Spirit of the ‘70s” exhibit features people, places and events that influenced history, society and popular culture both in South Dakota and around the nation. The exhibit addresses such issues as Wounded Knee II and Watergate, the war in Vietnam, and the election of 1972 featuring South Dakotan George McGovern, the Democratic nominee for President. While the decade was filled with weighty issues and events, the decade was also filled with “less serious” cultural touchstones like mood rings, disco dancing and fashion accessories like leisure suits and platform shoes.
The museum is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information.
About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.