Preparations begin ahead of Saturday’s South Dakota Chislic Festival in Freeman

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KELO News by: Sarah McDonald

FREEMAN, S.D. (KELO) – The South Dakota Chislic Festival is now less than a day away. The event kicks off Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in Freeman. Friday, organizers put in long hours to make sure everything is ready for Saturday.

It’s a busy afternoon at the Prairie Arboretum in Freeman. This is the new location for the festival’s second event, after outgrowing its previous location.

“Originally this was a main street event, and I thought 500 to 1,000 people, and so we moved it out to the softball field and park last year and we guessed 1,500 to 2,000 and we got 8,000 to 10,000, so we’re now at the Freeman Prairie Arboretum,” South Dakota Chislic Festival, Josh Hofer said.

Hofer says at last year’s festival they had about 13 to 15 vendors, this year, there will be 50.

“We have a whole shopper’s shopping area, commerce area aside from food, so you can come get your chislic, your BBQ, your ice cream, and all the others, but then you can do some shopping too while you’re here,” Hofer said.

One of those vendors is Pietz’s Kuchen Kitchen. Owner Roger Pietz says this will be their second year at the event.

“We’re going to sell the kuchen by the slice and then we’re also going to sell the frozen kuchen because we had a big call for that last year, people would buy it and take it home, the pizza we are going to sell by the slice,” owner of Pietz’s Kuchen Kitchen, Roger Pietz said.

Leaving everyone ready to share a taste of one of South Dakota’s favorite nosh.

“Last year we just had a really fun time with it and so when they asked us to come back, I jumped on it,” Pietz said.

“We are ready for a big crowd and we are ready for a crowd at least as big as last year and we have a plan and the room to do it so we are excited,” Hofer said.

The event will also have a Mutton run, bean bag tournaments, and live music. To find out more about the event click here.

You can also download the SD Chislic Festival app, which is available for both Apple and Android.

Tabitha Schoenwald