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He Sapa Wacipi (Black Hills Powwow) returns to Rapid City Oct. 7-9

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In just over two weeks, Summit Arena at The Monument in Rapid City will be filled with the heartbeat sound and dazzling sights of Native American culture and celebration.

The He Sapa Wacipi, Lakota for Black Hills Powwow, returns Oct. 7 through Oct. 9 after a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local business and community leaders were able to have a preview of the powwow during a special reception Monday at Prairie Edge.

"We are glad to be back and to make the powwow even better than before," Board President Stephen Yellow Hawk told the group.

The He Sapa Wacipi is one of the largest in the country. Yellow Hawk said the board hopes to continue that growth and become the largest gathering of Native American culture in the world.

Thousands of participants are expected to attend for the return of the wacipi, filling up area hotel rooms and bringing business to restaurants. This year's wacipi will be held in Summit Arena, something that was expected to happen in 2021 as a roll-out for the opening of the new arena, but delayed because of the pandemic.

Vendors will set up in the Don Barnett Fieldhouse, directly connected to Summit Arena. Organizers said there will also be a fine arts exposition and educational opportunities for first-time attendees to learn about Native American traditions and the meaning behind the powwow.

Youth activities, including hand game tournaments, are also planned. The Great Plains Tribal Leaders will hold a youth conference during the wacipi.

Three-day passes and single-day tickets are available for purchase at The three-day pass is $32 for ages 13-64 and $22 for ages 4-12. Attendees under the age of 4 and 65 or older can attend for free. Individual day tickets are $18 for ages 13-64 and $12 for ages 4-12.

For information about the He Sapa Wacipi, visit

Contact Nathan Thompson at

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