The Black Hills are a hub of iconic events that have made impressions far and wide. The rumbling Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the jaw-dropping Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, the unbelievable Crazy Horse Memorial® Volksmarch, and thrilling Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo® - just to name a few headliners. And while these events have made their way onto many bucket lists, rightfully so, we are going to pull back the curtain on the unfiltered Rapid City, revealing a vibrant patchwork of local favorites. Experience a different side of events in the Rapid City region with this line-up.



1. Native POP


two people looking at booth of artwork during the native pop event in rapid city, sd




Welcome to the creative core of Rapid City - Native POP: People of the Plains Art Show and Market. This annual event brings indigenous art, handcrafted jewelry, and a fashion runway unlike any other all together in one place. Featuring emerging and renowned artists from the Great Plains, Native POP is where traditional beadwork meets modern style. Come dive into experiences shaped by rich cultures, painting Main Street Square with vibrant colors of heritage and creativity.



2. Fruhlingsfest & Spring Market


band performing on the main street square stage during the Fruhlingsfest and spring market event in rapid city,sd




Cast off the winter blues and leap into the vibrant embrace of springtime in Rapid City. The annual Fruhlingsfest & Spring Market at Main Street Square serves as the starting point of the fun-filled event season in Downtown Rapid City. This delightful gathering features the best of local merchandise, local beverages, and toe-tapping tunes. Over 21? You'll love exploring the Beverage Garden, a curated selection of the finest beers worthy of a seasonal toast!



3. Badlands Astronomy Festival


star gazing in badlands national park with clouds and badland formations@rhaymanphotos



Embrace the beauty of the cosmos at the annual Badlands Astronomy Festival. This three-day celestial event takes place in Badlands National Park, bringing together astronomy enthusiasts, space professionals, educators, and stargazers for a unique multi-day festival. Enjoy the family-friendly activities, engage with esteemed guest speakers, and experience the beauty of the universe. But it's not just about looking up, it's about preserving down here. The festival emphasizes the importance of dark skies, urging us to protect these priceless natural treasures. Leave formalities aside; there's no need for tickets or registration. Just bring your delight in discovery and join this exceptional experience.



4. Chili Pepper Festival


women at the jolly lane chili pepper festival shopping the selection of peppers in rapid city, sdDarsha Dodge, Rapid City Journal



For almost two decades, the annual Chili Pepper Festival hosted by Jolly Lane Greenhouse has been a red-hot staple of Rapid City's event calendar, stirring up a flavorful storm. Experience the vast world of peppers, from the subtly mild to the fiery hot, which includes the crowd-pleasing Hatch chiles direct from New Mexico. While peppers are the stars, the festival also offers food trucks, live music, and local produce. It's all about the heat, the food, the music, and the joy of a vibrant community reveling under one roof!



5. West Boulevard Summer Festival


vendors with people browsing at the west boulevard summer festival in rapid city south dakota




Every Father's Day Weekend, Wilson Park becomes a haven of community spirit and celebration in Rapid City. The West Boulevard Summer Festival, a tradition for over 40 years, welcomes an unforgettable collection of food, performances, and more. Local artisans set up shop, displaying an array of art, jewelry, and delectable bites. This family-friendly festival is free and open to everyone. So if you're in town, make your way to Wilson Park and celebrate summer, soak up the lively atmosphere, and delight in a vibrant market of local wonders!



6. Cruiser Car Show


classis cars lining the streets of downtown rapid city, sd with people walking around looking at them




The Cruiser Car Show is a local treasure hosted in Downtown Rapid City. As the sun tapers, the streets downtown come alive with classic cars, each with their own story to tell. The show welcomes everyone and viewers are encouraged to vote for their top pick among these beautiful machines. Beyond the cars, you can browse vendors and savor flavors from local food trucks. Experience a blend of community spirit and high-powered classics at Rapid City’s Cruiser Car Show.



7. Rapid City Restaurant Week


chef cooking with a pan on fire at a restaurant in rapid city, sd




Plan your visit around Rapid City's Restaurant Week! Savor the local flavors as our eateries whip up special menus for this extraordinary event. For an entire week, delight in our town's culinary diversity and enjoy enticing dishes and beverages. Plus, there's a chance to win amazing prizes. Don't miss out on the opportunity to indulge in a dining experience that's uniquely Rapid City!



8. Black Hills Performing Arts Center


audience members watching a performance of the black hills symphony orchestra in rapid city, sd


All Year Round


The Performing Arts Center of Rapid City echoes with the rhythm of heart-stirring performances. It’s not just about the national or international acts that grace this stage, but the homegrown talent that thrives here. This is their haven - the Black Hills Community Theatre, Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, and Shrine of Democracy Chorus - they have all found their rhythm amidst our resonating acoustics. Indeed, our Performing Arts Center is more than just a building; it's a cultural rod that attracts the lightning of creativity and spirit inherent in the Black Hills region. For the specifics of events and shows, check out the official website.


This is just a small sampling of memorable events taking place in our area. Check out our Events Calendar for the full spread or sign up for our monthly Travel Tips Newsletter where we highlight more information on what to see, do and attend when you visit.

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