2017 Pumpkin Contest Winners

Two winners of our the 2017 Dell Rapids Chamber and Big Sioux Media pumpkin decorating contest have been determined.  There were over 40 entries in this year’s contest, which was the highest number of participants in the annual event!  Pictures were submitted throughout the month of October, and then those pictures were displayed during the annual Downtown Trick-Or-Treat event on Friday, October 27th.  Those attending the downtown event were able to vote for their favorite pumpkin.  Over 200 votes were cast!

The winners for the contest were Jeremy P. and Easton D.!!  Easton won a $100 prize package from the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce that included gift certificates to Video Plus, the Dells Theater, and Dells Bowl.  Jeremy won a $100 prize package from Big Sioux Media that included a Big Sioux Media etched Yeti mug, and gift certificates to T&C, LaDelle & Fourth, and school spirit wear of choice.

The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Big Sioux Media would like to thank everyone who decorated a pumpkin and sent their photos to be a part of the contest.  We also want to thank all of those who took time to vote for their favorite pumpkin at the Downtown Trick-Or-Treat event!  Both groups look forward to next year’s contest!

Easton D. pumpkin

Easton D. pumpkin


Jeremy P. pumpkin

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Corduroy & Pixie Dust Has Ribbon Cutting

CorduroyAndPixieDustRibbonCorduroy & Pixie Dust, the newest store in downtown Dell Rapids, held it’s ribbon cutting and grand opening on Saturday, October 28th.  Owners Heather and Jason Ness held the celebration from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The store actually opened its doors on Thursday, September 14th.

Corduroy & Pixie Dust features clothes for girls and boys from newborns all the way to age eight.  The store is open three days a week – Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Corduroy & Pixie Dust is located at 428 E. 4th St or online at https://corduroynpixiedust.com/.


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Dell Rapids Chamber Has Big Plans for Rest of 2017

DRChamberLogoThe Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce has big plans for rest of the 2017 calendar year.  Chamber President Dan Ahlers highlighted some of the items the chamber has planned during the Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting on Monday, August 21st.

The first event that will be happening is the “Rhythm at the Rapids” music festival on Saturday, September 16th.  This is the second year for the event at Dell Rapids City Park.

“We created this event hoping it will be eventually a mini Jazz Fest for our community.  We did fairly well last year for our first year.  There were somewhere between 400 and 600 people total that attended that,” said Ahlers. Poster

The event had five bands last year, and this year’s event will also feature five bands.  The chamber plans to have other family friendly events at the park during the day such has bounce houses, face painting, and canvas painting.  The city council also approved a 1-day alcoholic beverage license for the music festival to allow the chamber to sell alcoholic beverages throughout the day.  The first act of the day will start at 11:00 a.m. with the last act scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

A new Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce Administrator has also been hired.  Calvin Bloemendaal, a recent graduate from South Dakota State University, was hired for the open position.  Bloemendaal has degrees in Consumer Services Management and Family Financial Services.  Bloemendaal will start in a couple of weeks and will also be giving chamber updates to the city council soon.

“He’s excited to get started.  I think he’s going to be a great addition to our team and certainly is going to help move the chamber organization forward and help us continue to grow,” Ahlers said.

Ahlers also mentioned other projects that are in progress for the chamber.  The chamber billboards will soon be updated with a new look.  Ahlers reported that designs are in the final stages of being complete with a target of getting them in place yet this fall.  A new Dell Rapids visitors and community guide is also in the works by the chamber.  The guide will include a history of Dell Rapids section, culture section, business section, and possibly a couple of pages dedicated to surrounding communities.  The chamber is working with Anderson Publications to print the guide, and they hope to have them complete by the Christmas at the Dells celebration.

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Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce Hands out Awards at Annual Banquet


Katie Luttmann and The Mason Jar Boutique

The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce gave out three awards during their annual banquet on Saturday, April 8th, at the Rocky Run Golf Course clubhouse in Dell Rapids.  The chamber handed out their annual awards of Business of the Year, Community Spirit Award, and Volunteer of the Year award.


Representatives of the Dell Rapids Connections group

Katie Luttmann and The Mason Jar Boutique was named the 2016 Dell Rapids Business of the Year.  The Community Spirit Award was given to Rob Everist.  The Volunteer of the Year was given to the Dell Rapids Connections group.

Besides the annual awards that were given, the evening also included a social hour, a catered meal by J&K Randel Catering of Dell Rapids, and a speech by inspirational business speaker and best-selling sports author Ross Bernstein.  Bernstein shared his thoughts and stories about passion and keys to business success with those in attendance.  He also gave away one of his books, America’s Coach, to everyone in attendance.


Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce board members Dan Ahlers, Amanda Roth, Amber Larson, Melissa Van’t Hof, Amy Lensing, Holly Davidson with Ross Bernstein.


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Hundreds Gather for Chamber Easter Egg Hunt

2017DRChamberEasterEgg_3The Dell Rapids City Park was filled with hundreds of kids for the annual Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8th.  The event was again broken into three different age groups:  three-years-old and under, ages four to six, and seven-years-old and older.  The eggs were hidden in three different areas of the city park for the kids to find.

The Easter Egg hunt started at 10:30 a.m., but the Easter Bunny made a visit to the park at 10:00 to take pictures with all of the kids.

2017DRChamberEasterEgg_2Each of the age groups had a “Golden Egg” winner.  The Golden Egg was exchanged for a prize package including several prizes from local businesses donated by the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce.


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Dell Rapids Chamber Holds Christmas at the Dells Celebration

2016paradeoflightsThe Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held their annual “Christmas at the Dells” celebration on Saturday, December 3rd, and Sunday, December 4th, in Dell Rapids.  This year’s theme was “Tales of Christmas”.

Some of the events held during the weekend included half-priced bowling, a free movie showing sponsored by Schwebach Realty, soup supper, Christmas Tree sleighridelighting, Christmas Tea, pictures with Santa Claus, Parade of Lights, Tour of Holiday Homes, Festival of Christmas, Festival of Christmas Auction, sleigh rides, live nativity, a holiday sign workshop, a gingerbread house contest, and many other fun events.

2016gingerbreadhouseThe winners for the gingerbread contest

  • 1st place:  Kailena Campbell
  • 2nd place:  Cate Trail
  • Family Winner:  Kruger Family
  • Classroom Winner:  St Mary 3rd Grade

The Chamber of Commerce still has fun events happening throughout the rest of the Christmas season.  It’s not too late to get punch cards for a chance to win $400 in gift cards to local Dell Rapids businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce Business Christmas Tree contest is still ongoing.  Judging will take place on December 22nd with the winning business receiving a free lunch from a local business.  There is also still time to participate in the Home Lighting contest.  Judging will take place on December 21st for a chance to win $50 gift card prize.  More information about these remaining events can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.dellrapidschamber.com.

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Dell Rapids Chamber Music Festival a Success

rhythmattherapids_2016The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held a music festival at Dell Rapids City Park called “Rhythm at the Rapids”.  The event was held on Saturday, September 17th.  Five different performers played throughout the day at the City Park Band Shell.  Hegg Brothers, Jami Lynn, Julie Eddy, Power Play and Bad Hamster were the performers this year.  The event also included different vendors and food items along with some activities for the kids.

Hundreds of people came to the event throughout the day, and many stayed for the entire day.  The event was well received and considered a success by the Dell Rapids Chamber.  Indications are that the bands and vendors would come back to an event like this next year.

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Dell Rapids Chamber Partners with Haven for Field Trip

HavenLogoThe Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Haven program to provide a field trip for the Haven students on Monday, March 28th.  The Haven students were able to travel to Sioux Falls to watch the Sioux Falls Stampede play in a scrimmage game.  The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce donated the tickets to the event, reducing the price of the field trip to just $2.00 per child to cover transportation costs. DRChamberLogo

Each child who attended the field trip also received a free ticket to a Sioux Falls Stampede game on Sunday, April 5th.

Thirty-three Haven students and five chaperones attended the event.


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Good Crowd Shows for Chamber Easter Egg Hunt

2016ChamberEasterEgg-2The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 19th, at the Dell Rapids Elementary School.  This year’s event included new features.  From 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Chris’s Cakes served a pancake and sausage breakfast in the elementary school commons area.  The Easter Egg Hunt then began at 10:30 a.m. with three different age groups:  3-years-old and under, ages four to six, and 7-years-old and older.  The eggs were hidden in three different areas of the elementary school grounds outside.

Along with the breakfast, the Easter Bunny also returned to the Chamber Easter Egg Hunt after being absent the past few years.  Children were able to meet the Easter Bunny and take pictures throughout the morning.  2016ChamberEasterEgg-1

“We were very happy with the number of children that came out to the Easter Egg Hunt this year despite it being a little chilly outside.  We were also excited with the addition of the breakfast and Easter Bunny this year.  We would like to thank the Dell Rapids Elementary School for allowing us to hold the event here.  It was a wonderful place to have it,” said chamber treasurer Amber Larson.

Each of the age groups had a “Golden Egg” winner.  The Golden Egg was exchanged for a prize package including several prizes from local businesses donated by the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce.


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Dell Rapids Chamber Holds Annual Banquet

DRChamberBanquet_2016_3The Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held it’s annual banquet on Monday, February 29th, at the Grand Opera House in Dell Rapids.  Highlights of the event included a social hour, an update from the Dell Rapids Chamber, annual awards handed out by the Chamber, and guest speaker former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Richard Coffey.

Chamber President Dan Ahlers opened up the evening with an update on the Chamber over the past year.  Ahlers mentioned that the Chamber continues to bring in professional developmental seminars and handed out 70+ resident welcome packets in the past year.  He also mentioned that the past Quarry Days event had more vendors, more activities, and more participants in the events than the past years.  The Shop Local program was also started by the Chamber this past year, which is geared as an educational and marketing program on the the importance of shopping local.  Ahlers then mentioned a new feature during the Christmas at the Dells celebration, which was the Holiday Punch Cards that had more than 20 businesses participate.

“I can tell you from personal experience that this was a very effective marketing campaign.  I had a lady come into my business who I know.  She tells me how she shops at Walmart and buys on Amazon all the time.  She filled out two of these cards.  She said how great it was and didn’t realize all the things you could buy in Dell Rapids.  If we can get folks like this individual to fill out two cards, we’re really moving in the right direction,” said Ahlers of the Holiday Punch Card event.

He then moved into a brief overview of the goals for the Dell Rapids Chamber in the coming year.  The goals include continuing to expand Quarry Days and Christmas at the Dells, putting up new interstate signs, rolling out the Shop Local campaign, continuing with the Holiday Punch Cards, and making a move to hiring a full-time coordinator.

The Dell Rapids Chamber then handed out their annual awards.  Dell Rapids Ace Hardware was awarded the Business of the Year.  Brittani Bollock of Revive Fitness was awarded the Community Spirit Award, and Darcie Kringen was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award.

Photo by Holly Davidson of Davidson Photography

Photo by Holly Davidson of Davidson Photography

Richard Coffey concluded the night with a motivational speech on the seasons of life.  He highlighted having the right attitude and checking personal standards.

“Always check your standards to make sure they’re the right standards for you to start moving to your next level.  If you’re going to truly start self-evaluating and looking at your standards, you’re going to have to tap into your personal power,” mentioned Coffey.

Coffey also pointed that personal and professional brand is always on display.  He also mentioned tapping into personal power to move past fears.

“Fear can be a powerful thing.  Fear will tell us we’re not good enough.  Fear will tells us we’re going to fail. … The truth about fear, it only has the power we give it.  If we choose to not give it any power, it has none. … It’s your courage that will get you through the tough times. … Don’t let fear control your life,” said Coffey.

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