Spearfish remembers record-setting temperatures with Chinook Days

Spearfish’s second Chinook Days happens Jan. 16-23, 2021.
The late evening news on KEVN.
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 10:44 AM MST
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - Spearfish is celebrating its record-setting temperature drops starting Saturday during Chinook Days.

The weeklong event commemorates when Spearfish saw drastic temperature fluctuations during a cold snap in the Black Hills 78 years ago. On Jan. 22, 1943, temperatures in Spearfish dropped to -4 degrees. Then a southwesterly wind coming from Oregon, known as a Chinook, made its way through the Hills, bringing temperatures up to 45 degrees in about two minutes.

The Chinook died down, returning the temperature to a bitter -4. The temperature changes landed them two Guinness Book of World Records: one for the fastest temperature rise and one for the fastest temperature drop.

The Chinook celebration starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 with Big Hill Fat Fest. Skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities are taking place at Big Hill Trailhead. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, there will be a special screening of “The Mighty Ducks” in the parking lot at the Spearfish Recreation and Aquatic Center.

Crow Peak Brewing Company, Spearfish Brewing Company and Sawyer Brewing Company will serve their signature Chinook craft beers, brewed with Chinook Hops, throughout the week.

Friday is the 78th anniversary of the historic temperatures. At Matthew’s Opera House, a snow sculpting party will happen on the corner of East Hudson and Main Street.

More information can be found on the Chinook Days website.

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