National theater festival bringing extra foot traffic to downtown Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For the second year in a row, Sioux Falls is hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

The event will bring thousands to downtown Sioux Falls and it's a pretty big opportunity to showcase the city.

Around 1,600 students from 87 different colleges and universities learn all about college theatre during the event. While they are here they are getting a chance to check out what Sioux Falls has to offer.

The extra foot traffic is headed from the Holiday Inn to the Washington Pavilion and the Orpheum Theatre.

Since these destinations are all within walking distance of each other, local businesses can look forward to seeing some new faces in their stores.

“It's so much fun to even watch them going up and down Philips Avenue. They're dropping into the stores, you know to buy a treat or to buy gifts to take home,” says Teri Schmidt.

Teri Schmidt is the Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says Sioux Falls is fortunate to be hosting again.

“To host their theater festival is a feather in the cap of Sioux Falls. I think we should be proud that we get to host something of this caliber,” says Schmidt.

Their first day here, the students are still admiring the qualities of the city.

“We're going to go to McKenzie's Pizza down the street so, try that. Also, another thing that's great about Sioux Falls is it has a lot of different places you can visit and they have the Arc of Dreams now. A lot of things to do. Almost too much to do,” said one student.

The theater festival chose to come back to Sioux Falls because of these qualities combined.

“We're easy to get to, that's nice. We're not expensive, we have great food throughout downtown. So, we've got it all,” says Schmidt.

If all goes well this year, it could lead to a big opportunity down the road for the city of Sioux Falls.