Sunday, November 29, 2009

Set your camera on "Christmas"

Some of the year's most fun and photogenic events are happening right now. Christmas lights and decorations always make good photos and you can find them all over South Dakota.

Every night through January 3, the Falls of the Big Sioux in Sioux Falls become "Winter Wonderland" with pretty much every tree in Falls Park lit and the falls themselves illuminated with color-changing spotlights.

A somewhat similar display is happening nightly at Wylie Park in Aberdeen with the drive-through "Sertoma Festival of Lights" through December 27.

South Dakota's executive building in Pierre gets into the spirit each year with "Christmas at the Capitol," which includes hundreds of decorated trees throughout the historic halls. The doors are open every day and into the evening through December 27.

The Fort Sisseton State Park hosts "Frontier Christmas" each December. Scheduled for December 12-13, the festival includes horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides, traditional holiday crafts like baking bread dough ornaments, entertainment and the lighting of a tree with real candles. Every time I attend Frontier Christmas I hope for snow, but Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Last year there was not only snow, but foggy, frosty parade grounds that made for some magical images. Check them out here.

Storybook Island in Rapid City is also decorated with thousands of twinkling lights through January 2 for those on the west side of the state.

This holiday season also marks the addition of a new feature here at Dakotagraph. In the right side column you will find a calendar of upcoming photogenic events that I hope will help photographers find fun images to take. I can't promise that I'll include every event or festival that you might want to shoot, but I'll keep it updated with ideas that should provide good photography opportunities.

For more information on the activities above, check the drop-down "Topics List" at the top right of the page.

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