Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission)
Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission)

Mother Nature is full of wonderful surprises! Even though South Dakota has been hanging onto winter for as long as it can, some residents were lucky enough to witness unique, bright colors in the sky.

On Sunday evening, the Aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) made another appearance in South Dakota. This was a rare opportunity to see the spectacular light show over the South Dakota skies. Some Sioux Falls residents even stayed up late or woke up early for a glimpse of this majestic sky.

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Melissa Riggs Johnson (with permission)
Melissa Riggs Johnson (with permission)

So what are Northern Lights? Northern Lights Centre is a great resource is learn about the "polar lights" in the sky. Northern Lights are the "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as 'Aurora borealis' in the north and 'Aurora australis' in the south." The most common color light to see is yellowish-green.

Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission)
Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission), Canva

According to an article from USA Today, a total of 30 northern states would be able to see the Northern Lights on Sunday. Those states include North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Most areas had good weather conditions to really see the lights.

Local Brandon resident, Ryan Thornton captured some spectacular video of the Northern Lights on Sunday night. Located just north of Corson, Ryan captured the lights using a Sionyx Aurora Pro. Sometimes the lights were tough to see with the naked eye. His camera did a great job focusing on the lights!

A special thank you to anyone who shared their pictures and videos with me! Your pictures and videos showcasing the beauty of the Northern Lights are just stunning!

10 Smallest Towns in South Dakota

South Dakota is loaded with small towns in every corner of the state. But where are the smallest towns in the Mount Rushmore state? According to the latest census data, here are the ten smallest towns in all of South Dakota.

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

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