Big-time basketball, brewery battle and the return of Garrison Keillor highlight the week in Sioux Falls

An artist “ready to make his mark on the country music industry,” Cooper Alan will perform at The District on Thursday.

Garrison Keillor will perform music and tell stories at the Orpheum on Friday.
Contributed /

SIOUX FALLS — It’s hard to believe the Summit League basketball tournaments have been in Sioux Falls for 15 years. The run started in 2009 at the Sioux Falls Arena and was capped off by Ben Woodside’s game-winning shot for North Dakota State with three seconds left against Oakland.

Since then, the tournament moved to the Denny Sanford Premier Center (with one year at the Sanford Pentagon during COVID) and has set conference records for attendance.

Much to the chagrin of the rest of the conference, the tournaments have largely been South Dakota affairs. The South Dakota State men have won the crown six times since 2009. The Jackrabbit women have won nine times and the University of South Dakota women four times.

Tickets for the games are going fast, so get them soon if you’re interested.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of things to know and do this week, from the stage to exhibits. As always, see a full list of events at



Summit League basketball tournament this weekend 

Summit League Basketball Tournament
A crowd of 7,833 attended the women’s championship game between the South Dakota Coyotes and South Dakota State Jackrabbits at the 2020 Summit League Basketball Tournament in Sioux Falls on March 10, 2020.
Richard Carlson / Inertia

The sports event of the year is here, as 20 teams converge on the Denny Sanford Premier Center for the Summit League basketball tournament.

Yes, that’s right. Twenty teams.

For the first time, the tournament has expanded to 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams.

That means an extra day of games, as four teams in both brackets vie for a spot in the top eight. The tournament starts with “play-in games” on Friday, March 3, and ending Tuesday, March 7.

In the women’s bracket, No. 1 SDSU plays the winner of St. Thomas and Western Illinois at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. No. 4 USD plays No. 5 Oral Roberts, setting up a potential Jackrabbit-Coyote semifinal on Monday.

In the men’s bracket, No. 2 SDSU faces the winner of Kansas City and Omaha at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The No. 6 Coyotes play No. 3 NDSU at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. If both the Jacks and Coyotes win, they will play in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Monday night.


The championships are set for Tuesday at 1 p.m. Tuesday (women) and 8 p.m. (men).

Tickets for all sessions start at $110 , with tickets for individual sessions starting at $21.

  • High school girls basketball teams across the state are trying to secure their spots in the state basketball tournaments March 9-11 at various sites in the state. All of the pairings will be decided this week with regionals earlier in the week and Sodak 16 games taking place on March 2 and 3. Head over to the Mitchell Republic sports section for the latest pairings, then watch the Soak 16 games on Friday (Class A and B) and Saturday (Class AA).


For kids (and kids at heart): Ag Day and toy show

Kids and adults can learn about the agriculture industry through hands-on activities and a small petting zoo at the Washington Pavilion this week.
Contributed / Travel South Dakota

Ag Day at the Washington Pavilion aims to give kids a first-hand look at the importance of agriculture in South Dakota and across the world.

A number of hands-on exhibits will give kids the chance to learn how their food is made and how it gets to their table at the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 4.

Among the activities: interactive farm display, small petting zoo, virtual games, watch chicks hatch, plant flower seeds, learn to crochet and knit, shell corn, collect beetles and sit in a saddle. Free lunch will be provided for the first 750 people.

The event is free and includes free admission to the Kirby Science Discovery Center and the Visual Arts Center.


  • Whether you are a collector of antique toys or just like toys, the 42nd Annual Sioux Falls Toy Show is for you. There will be more than 400 booths of sellers at the show on March 4 and 5 at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall. 

Tickets are $6, with kids 12-and-under free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

  • Are you a recent college graduate or soon-to-be graduate looking for a job? Head over to the 2023 B.I.G. (Business, Industry and Government) Career and Internship Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to attend, features more than 150 employers who are looking to hire both entry-level and advanced positions as well as internships. Go to the B.I.G Career and Internship Fair website for more details.


Try the best of downtown Sioux Falls breweries

Downtown restaurants have the Burger Battle in January. Breweries have the Mash Madness in March.

Starting March 1, downtown breweries in Sioux Falls will offer a specific Mash Madness brew for patrons to try. You can vote for your favorites on the DTSF Digital Passport app .

As of this writing, participating breweries and entries haven’t been released, but check the DTSF website for updates .

The winner in 2022 was Covert Artisan Ales and Cellars.

  • The latest Downtown Food Tour starts at Severance Brewing Company. Learn  more about Sioux Falls and sample food and an alcoholic beverage at 4-5 establishments along the walking route on Saturday, March 4. Event organizers guarantee you won’t leave hungry. Tickets are $79



It’s a Prairie Home Sioux Falls 

Garrison Keillor will perform music and tell stories at the Orpheum on Friday.
Contributed /

Return to Lake Wobegon with the show Garrison Keillor at 80 at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at the Orpheum Theater. The longtime host of “A Prairie Home Companion” will bring his unique blend of music, stories and stand-up “on the theme of cheerfulness.” The show includes Keillor’s sung sonnets and duets with Heather Masse on songs by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Waits and others, plus poems and jokes.

Keillor will also provide News from Lake Wobegon, reflecting on growing up in the 1940s and 50s. The program will conclude with an audience singalong. Tickets are $39-$79.

  • See what China was like “before communism” at the Shen Yun performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at the Washington Pavilion. “Shen Yun opens a portal to a civilization of profound wisdom and divine beauty through classical Chinese dance and music.” Dozens of performers will showcase traditional Chinese dance with original music and wardrobes of vibrant colors.  Tickets are $80-$150. If you go, know that there is some controversy about the performances, which our sister news outlet the Duluth News Tribune wrote about last year. “In short, if you go to see Shen Yun, you may get much more ideology than you bargained for at a show that promises fantastic spectacles like "fairies emerge from a sea of billowing clouds" and "Mongolians ride on horseback across grasslands as vast as the sky."


Country music and an inspirational talk from an Army Ranger

An artist “ready to make his mark on the country music industry,” Cooper Alan will perform at The District at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 2. Alan, who is from North Carolina, has more than 10 million followers on his social media platforms and has earned over 200 million streams. His hits include “New Normal,” “Tough Ones,” “Colt 45,” and “Can’t Dance.” Cooper brings a high-energy performance to all his shows – he sold out 38 performances in 2022. Tickets are $22 to $27.

Among the other events this week:

  • Kris Paronto, a former Army Ranger, will share his lessons learned from the attacks in Benghazi and other deployments across the world during the event Friday, March 3, at The Alliance on W. Russell Street as part of the Vet Aid Weekend. His insights will focus on how to persevere, lead and make strategic decisions in the midst of chaos. Paronto was the subject of the book and film “13 Hours.” Tickets are $25-$50 for the event , which lasts from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Kory and the Fireflies will perform a concert Saturday. 
  • Sioux Falls native Cade Thompson will perform his Christian music at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Sioux Falls First Church. Tickets are $10 or $15 for early entry.  
  • Brady Wrede, also a Sioux Falls native, will perform at Lupulin Brewing at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4. Wrede’s music is described as indie pop, rock and folk.
  • Do you love the ’90s? Join hip artist Otis Julius and Nice Enough Ent for the The Totally Rad ’90s Party Tour at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at Icon Lounge. The event will feature live music, prizes and covers of ’90s favorites. General admission tickets are $15 with VIP tickets at $45, which comes with a meet and greet and a signed poster. 
What To Read Next
Get Local