MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) -- The Corn Palace events center and tourist attraction in Mitchell will be a little less colorful this year because of drought.
The dry conditions have hurt some of the colored corn that a contracted farmer grows for the palace murals. Four colors of corn will be taken out of the mural designs this year: blue, calico, orange and light brown, The Daily Republic reported (http://bit.ly/MxMKzb ).
There might be some usable cobs in each of the colors but only a limited amount, Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling said.
"After going through the first four fields, things looked very bleak," he said. "There were areas where you would walk 100 rows going sideways through the field and you literally had to search . You could not see an ear of corn that was usable for the Corn Palace."
It takes about 275,000 ears of corn to decorate the Corn Palace, which attracts about 200,000 tourists each summer. The board that oversees the facility had considered keeping the current murals for another year but on Tuesday decided to go forward with a scaled-back redecoration.
"When you look at some of the more traditional designs ... they didn't have the color palate that I have," said Cherie Ramsdell, the local artist who designs the murals. "The colors are pretty arbitrary when you place them. It's a matter of contrast."
This year's planned mural theme is "We Celebrate," with murals depicting holiday scenes. Last year's theme, "Saluting Youth Activities," is still on the building. Schilling said the easy thing would be to leave them in place another year.
"But I think the Corn Palace is really too important to us. It's the icon," he said. "If there's ways to make it happen, we need to make it happen."
Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com
Copyright 2012 The AP.