An attendee to the 2017 Deadweird shows off her unique smile.

The 17th annual South Dakota Festival of Books, Oct. 4-6 in Deadwood, will feature more than 60 presenting authors participating in readings, lectures, panel discussions and book signings.

This year's featured authors include Heather Graham ("A Lethal Legacy"), Craig Johnson ("Land of Wolves"), Megan Phelps-Roper ("Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church"), Sean Sherman ("The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen") and J. Ryan Stradal ("The Lager Queen of Minnesota").

South Dakota's premier annual literary event, the festival also features more than 40 exhibitors and draws more than 5,000 session attendees, with an additional 5,000 students meeting children's/YA authors and illustrators like Donald F. Montileaux ("Tatanka & Other Legends of the Lakota People") via school visits throughout the Black Hills.

For a detailed schedule of events, visit sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/schedule/.


Celebrate Halloween in Deadwood with the community's annual Deadweird holiday party, a two-day event full of music, dancing and costumes.

The weekend starts with the seventh annual Monster Ball, from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 25 at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort. There will be live music by Tie Dye Volcano, prizes and a people's choice vote. 

On Saturday, the costume contest is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Silverado-Franklin, with winners announced at 9:30 p.m. The night will also include music and dancing.

Deadweird is an open container weekend, so event cups will be allowed in designated areas from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Participants must be at least 21 years old. Both nights are free.

Here are some of the other biggest events in October: 

  • Oct. 4-19: Paranormal Investigations of the Adams House, Oct. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19; 6, 7:30, 9 and 10:30 p.m., $35
  • Oct. 3-5: Oktoberfest, various locations
  • Oct. 4-6: South Dakota Festival of Books, Deadwood Mountain Grand
  • Oct. 10-12: Wild West Songwriters Festival, Santana’s at Deadwood Mountain Grand, Paddy O’Neill’s, Scott Jacobs Gallery, Silverado-Franklin, Saloon No. 10 and Deadwood VFW, free
  • Oct. 12 & 19: The Murder of Miss Kitty, murder mystery dinner, 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Deadwood Comfort Inn, $50. By Deadwood 1876 Theater.
  • Oct. 17: Preservation Thursday, Tom O'Day, noon, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center, admission by donation. South Dakota Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau Scholar Ray Maple will present a program on one of the least-known members of the infamous Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, Tom O’Day. From 1888-1910, O'Day was an active participant in many of the bank and train robberies in Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado and Utah. O’Day participated in a failed bank robbery attempt in Belle Fourche. He ended his outlaw career when he was caught rustling horses belonging to South Dakota Gov.-elect B.B. Brooks. 
  • Oct. 17: Queen Machine in concert, 8 p.m., Deadwood Mountain Grand, $19-$39
  • Oct. 18: Here Come the Mummies, 8 p.m., Deadwood Mountain Grand, $20
  • Oct. 19: 10th annual Women's Business Conference, The Lodge at Deadwood, $135 before Oct. 5 or $150 after Oct. 5, www.bhsu.edu/SDCEO
  • Oct. 25-26: Deadweird, 7-10 p.m. Friday at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort and 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Silverado-Franklin, free
  • Oct. 27: Diamond Rio, 8:30 p.m., Deadwood Mountain Grand, $29-$49

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— Information courtesy Deadwood Chamber of Commerce

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