Anything but a tree - Parade of Trees

South Dakota Mines 17th annual parade of trees is at the Surbeck Center.
South Dakota Mines 17th annual parade of trees is at the Surbeck Center.(Juliana Alford)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:15 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The 17th annual Parade of Trees is happening at the South Dakota Mines, except this year no trees were involved.

Every year is a different theme picked by faculty and students. This year’s theme is ‘Anything but a tree’ which means student groups and organizations are able decorate something festive and present it, just without using a physical tree.

It’s an event open to the public, not just students or faculty.

“No charge to come in, we do ask as people are coming in if they would bring some non-perishable food items. We put that on our food pantry for our students,” said Cory Headley, director of student engagement, South Dakota Mines.

Everyone is encouraged to vote on their favorite non-tree, and the winner earns the “People’s Choice Award.”

“It’s sort of a friendly competition between departments. I know some of them take it a lot more seriously than others,” said Chris Pappas, student engagement, South Dakota Mines.

Eighteen groups participated this year, and some creative examples included toilet paper rolls in the shape of a tree, a pendulum swing that looked like Christmas ornaments, and miniature flags in the shape of a tree.

“This is just a great way for everybody to get involved. I mean all the organizations obviously brought trees, and it’s cool to look around. There are at least two other trees here that people from our chapter participated in making,” said Ryan Brugger, South Dakota Mines student.

The event is open to the public Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.- to 1 p.m. in the ballroom at the Surbeck Center on campus.