Mayor’s Column: Planning for the Future

The spring weather, the increasing vaccination numbers, the sound of kids running around the neighborhood outside — we’ve certainly turned a corner toward optimism recently. We are positioned well for a strong recovery across our community, from an economic, workforce development and quality of life perspective. In many ways, we are already back to pre-pandemic numbers in terms of unemployment, sales tax revenues, housing demand and more.

Guided by the One Sioux Falls framework, our City team has continued to take important steps forward to plan for the future. For example, community-wide public investments like those in our “Sioux Falls for All” initiative will continue to positively enhance the experience of our residents and strengthen our community’s future. This is a multi-phased plan for making one-time investments in areas such as parks equity (Hayward Park) and an inclusive playground for people with sensory and physical disabilities (Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park). We’re also nearing completion on The Link community triage center, which will connect individuals with mental health or addiction issues with the right care and resources; it’s scheduled to open later this spring. I’ll talk more about these and other key projects during the State of the City address on Monday, May 3. Watch for further details on that.

Until then, I want to share an overview of events as we look ahead to a summer full of activities. From a robust outdoor concert series at the Levitt, to open pools and outdoor summer activities and reading programming, to concerts at the PREMIER Center and performances at the Washington Pavilion and educational events at the Great Plains Zoo, this summer’s activities will provide you and your family with an opportunity to become reacquainted with loved ones, neighbors and the community. Here are a few highlights, and check out more activities at

The season reveal for Levitt at the Falls is set for April 29, with the season-opening concert planned for June 11. The Washington Pavilion and Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and Arena are hosting many upcoming events, including the PBR series as well as numerous local and national events and concerts. Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation has in-person summer recreational programming planned. Pools will be open starting May 28. Special events are also resuming, including the Skedaddle Half Marathon, Hot Classics Night, Sioux Falls Marathon, Sidewalk Arts Festival and more. Siouxland Libraries are open and full open hours and programming will resume on March 29. Learn more about events, including the Summer Reading Program, which launches May 22. The Great Plains Zoo also has affordable family fun lined up for the summer.

This year’s National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-8) offers a great opportunity for a renewed focus for the tourism industry. Several industry events are planned, including a Media Day at 4 p.m. on May 3 at Falls Park.

There is optimism all around us as we move into spring and emerge from the fog of the past year. It’s going to be a great year in Sioux Falls and I, for one, can’t wait. Hope to see you out there. 

Highlights of Upcoming Sioux Falls Events

  • Upcoming events at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and Arena include the PBR series (April 9-11), Salute to Frontline Workers with Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence (April 10), Toby Keith in concert (May 20), and Reba in concert (July 17).
  • Siouxland Libraries welcomes users back to the libraries! Full open hours resume on March 29, with some modifications due to COVID. Details about programs are available on the Library Events Page, including the Summer Reading Program kick-off party on May 22.
  • Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation is back in action, with in-person recreational programming planned for the summer. More than 100 in-person programs are planned to take place throughout the city this summer. All pools will be open this summer with opening day scheduled for May 28.
  • The Great Plains Zoo has a broad spectrum of events, from a ZooBrew launch party (May 6) to Zippity Zoo Day (June 26) and special discounts on Mother’s Day (for moms) and Father’s Day (for dads).

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