It all begins with a story...

Generations ago waves of Germans-from-Russia immigrated to southeastern South Dakota and settled in pockets of land around the region. Over time, some of those settlements established themselves, grew, and are now towns that many of us live-in or by. These folks are the people of our heritage. They were, and still are, hard-working people who not only loved the land - they loved to eat! Eat what? CHISLIC!

There are many stories that make up the lore of Chislic. In the Freeman area, many of us grew up eating Chislic as ‘mutton on a stick’. Families and eateries have been serving Chislic for generations. Today, Chislic has grown from humble origins to a dish that in 2018 the SD Legislature officially declared the new South Dakota State ‘nosh’.  Given the attachment we have to Chislic (through the luck of our heritage) we asked ourselves, “Why not celebrate the little food, or ‘nosh’ that has become so well known and wildly popular?” 

If you look at the festival logo you’ll see the words HEART OF THE CHISLIC CIRCLE. We understand that Chislic, stories of the origins, and heritage of it have meaning and value to a group of people much larger than ourselves. We literally mean (thanks to the location our ancestors settled) geographically speaking, we find ourselves in the middle of it! 

That’s the quick story. Come celebrate with us! While you’re in Freeman for the first ever South Dakota State Chislic Festival, we hope that these are just a few of the many things you’ll get to talk about with your fellow community members, folks from neighboring towns, and those who will travel greater distances to be with us. Doing what? Celebrating one of our heritage foods, CHISLIC. Now everyone, let’s eat!