Big blast planned today at Crazy Horse

A statue shows what the Crazy Horse Memorial mountain carving, in the background, will look like when finished. (Photo courtesy of South Dakota Tourism)A big blast on the Crazy Horse Memorial mountain carving is planned today, May 3, to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the late sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski’s 1947 arrival in the Black Hills, according to a news release from the memorial.
Admission to the memorial will be free today with three cans of food per person for the KOTA Care & Share Food Drive.
State officials established May 3 as “Korczak Day in South Dakota.” The annual observance honors his accepting the invitation of Chief Henry Standing Bear and other Lakota leaders to carve the memorial and show that “the red man has great heroes also.”
Weather permitting, the 1 p.m. blast will remove 2,044 tons, helping to rough out the shape of the horse’s head. When completed, it will be 219 feet high.
Ziolkowski blocked out the mountain carving’s contours before his death in 1982. The carved face of Crazy Horse was dedicated in 1998, and since then the drilling-blasting crew has roughly shaped the upper two-thirds of the horse’s head. Work now extends 320 feet below the top of Crazy Horse’s head and is focused on reaching to under the horse’s nose at 360 feet from the top of the sculpture.
Located on Crazy Horse Memorial Highway, U.S. 16/385 between Hill City and Custer, the memorial is open every day in its nonprofit educational endeavor to honor all Native Americans of North America. Admission is always free to Native Americans, military personnel with active-duty ID, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform and Custer County residents.
For more information, call 605-673-4681, e-mail or visit

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Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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