Black Hills Cruisin' 2017 1- Black Hills Cruisin 2017 - Page 10

Black Hills Cruisin’ T he American Legion Riders of Battle Mountain American Legion Post 71 in Hot Springs will once again host the Freedom Ride during this year’s motorcycle rally, with the ride scheduled for Aug. 6. Registration is from 8:30 to 11 a.m. The ride is a poker ride through the Black Hills, with stops in Hot Springs, Keystone, Hill City and Custer. The ride begins at 10 a.m. and starts at the State Veterans Home at 2500 Minnekahta Ave. Cost is $15 a hand or $20 for two hands. Cash prizes will be given for first through third places. Following the ride, the American Legion will host a din- ner and an auction. The legion is located at 1045 Jennings Ave. in Hot Springs. All proceeds benefit veterans pro- grams in South Dakota. New this year in Hot Springs is the Cruise Night & Poker Run, scheduled for Aug. 11, sponsored by the South- ern Hills Drag Racing Association, Inc. All vehicles are welcome to join the cruise, and those with muscle cars, drag cars, antique cars/trucks, motorcycles and unfinished and project vehicles are encouraged. Registration is $20, and begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. The show and shine runs from 1-4 p.m., and those planning to cruise and do the poker run should meet at the Shopko parking lot at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. cruise. Poker ends at 9 p.m. at Shopko. Cost is $10 per hand for the poker August 2017, Page 9 run. A variety of awards will be given out at the show and shine, which will be held at Centennial Park, and is free to the public. Included in the prizes are People’s Choice Award for car, truck and bike, Driver’s Choice Award, Best Rat Rod Award, Sponsor’s Choice Award and the Chief of Police Best of Show Award. Door prizes will be given out as well. For more information on the event, contact Mike at 605- 745-3313, Al at 745-3277, Jason at 890-3568 or Caren at 390-7850. Long before its official establishment in the late 1800s, the Hot Springs area had been known for generations among Native Americans for its rejuvenating warm min- eral spring waters which were used by tribes for physical and spiritual cleansing and healing. When Hot Springs began to be settled by westward travelers, it rapidly became well-known for its bath houses, luxurious hotels and health sanatoriums. Because of its history as a healing environment, Hot Springs became the home of the South Dakota State Veter- ans Home and the Battle Mountain Sanitarium, which in 2011 was deemed a National Historic Landmark and today still serves as a VA hospital, renowned for its highly suc- cessful PTSD treatment program. For over 100 years, these two facilities have served veterans of all branches of the military from around the nation and in 2014, the State of South Dakota officially designated Hot Springs “The Vet- erans Town” of South Dakota. But there is so much more to Hot Springs than just its passion for caring for America’s veterans. Travelers can find plenty of rich experiences in this picturesque commu- nity nestled along Fall River, which winds its way through downtown past the distinctive pink sandstone buildings. Evans Plunge, named for its founder, early Hot Springs businessman Fred Evans, is the Black Hills’ oldest tourist attraction and you can still soak and play in the warm 87- degree water year-round. The Mammoth Site, a National Natural Landmark, is the final resting place of over 60 mammoths and other prehistoric creatures. Hot Springs is also home to the Miss South Dakota Pageant, the only Miss America pageant to have remained in the same community since its inception. In Hot Springs you can explore area history at the Pio- neer Museum located in the original sandstone schoolhouse on the hill, Battle Mountain Museum at the VA and by hik- ing one of Hot Springs’ many walking trails, including the Fall River Freedom Trail. See a historic jailhouse that once held Calamity Jane, and in September, join some of the best cowboy poets and singers in the country at Badger Clark Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering, peruse the shops downtown or eat at one of the wonderful restaurants —