Annual Watertown Highlights

If you want to experience Watertown at its best, visit during Watertown’s annual highlights.


Living History Fair:  Come see live demonstrations & actors recreating how our ancestors lived, worked and played.  Be part of this historic event by attending the Living History Fair which is held January 27, 2018 at the Lake Area Tech Student Center.


Watertown Winter Farm Show:  February 6-10, 2018. For over 70 years, thousands flock to the Codington County Extension Complex for this five day agricultural event. With over 150 commercial exhibitors featuring the newest advancements in technology for the farm and ranch, as well as exhibits for home and family. 


March 17 & 18, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Celebration:  Held the Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day, enjoy the Shamrock Shuffle 5K, pancake breakfast, Little Miss and Mr. Contest, and a parade, all in Downtown Watertown. 

Curt Carter Memorial Gun Show:  Held in mid-March at the Codington County Extension Complex in Watertown SD. This is the areas' largest gun show and many people come from miles around. 

South Dakota Taxidermy Association Competition:  Held at the Watertown Event Center this conference features taxidermists of all levels - World Class, Beginners, Old Timers and everyone in between!! Compare taxidermist work side-by-side and vote for your favorite entry for the Peoples Choice Award.


Sunset Zoofari: A food, wine and beer fundraiser event at the Bramble Park Zoo celebrating cultures, foods, and refreshments, through entertainment and a silent auction at the zoo. This event is held June 22, 2018 for those 21 and over only.

Family Zoofari: On the day after Sunset Zoofari bring your family to enjoy Family Zoofari. Bring the whole family for a day full of cultural activities and animals. Presentations and activities will be provided throughout the day.


South Dakota's Biggest Firework Show, Tuesday July 3, 2018:  Each year, thousands help celebrate our nation’s independence! Bring your lawn chairs to the Redlin Art Center. At dark, sit back and enjoy South Dakota's BIGGEST Fireworks Show. Admission is FREE. Hotel guests are invited to enjoy free shuttle via the Watertown Trolley to and from the event, beginning at 5:00 pm.

Independence Day Parade, Wednesday July 4, 2018:  The Independence Day parade along takes place in downtown Watertown. The route begins at 4th Street and E. Kemp and continues west to the Watertown Stadium. Traditional candy toss begins at 1:45 pm; parade begins at 2:00 p.m.

Cookin’ on Kampeska KCBS BBQ Cook-off: Held at Stokes-Thomas City Park on Lake Kampeska in Mid-July. Enjoy fun-filled family activities including a Burger Battle, Kids Que, coed volleyball tournament, live entertainment, inflatables, beanbag tournament, Little Miss and Mr. Kampeska contest, and a sanctioned Kansas City Barbeque Society competition!

August - September 

Watertown Radio Chili Cook-Off at the Bramble Park Zoo:  Spice up your day and join us for a hot event in mid-September! Enjoy the chili contest, music, prizes, and more. Guests can purchase a wristband to taste each contestants chili. 

North Country Fiber Fair:  Held in September at the Codington County Extension Complex, this event features llama, alpaca, sheep and much more fibers. Watch demonstrations by spinners and weavers using the fibers from various animals. Great food booths featuring homemade jams, jellies and baked goods, as well as vendors with products for sale.

Vintiques Car Show:  This classic car show held annually in late August or early September on Kemp Avenue in Downtown Watertown is fun for the whole family! Come enjoy the outdoor show and look at all the vintage and classic cars on display, enjoy Downtown shopping or stop in for lunch from one of the many food vendors.


Oktoberfest at Dempsey's Pub: A week long celebration of Bavarian tradition! Authentic German cuisine, games, stein holding competition, and live music.

Zoo Boo at Bramble Park Zoo:  A spooktacular event filled with ghouls and goblins! Youth will trick-or-treat, visit ghostly “boo”ths, and observe the animals at the Bramble Park Zoo.

November to December

Downtown Holiday Lighted Parade: This parade starts the Holiday season every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving at 6:30 pm.  Santa makes an appearance, much to the little ones’ delight, while the beautiful lighted floats & fireworks draw, “oohs and aahs” from all.

Winter Wonderland Lighted Display: Load up the car and take a leisurely drive through Stokes-Thomas City Park. See beautiful lighted displays created by various sponsors from the Watertown community. Don't miss Santa! Held from 6pm to 9pm, every Fri., Sat., & Sun. after Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Christmas at the Redlin Art Center:  Every year in early December, those seeking a Redlin Christmas head to the Redlin Art Center for a Christmas party. Enjoy sleigh rides through the countryside, hot cocoa, Christmas treats, music, classic holiday films, and fellowship. 

Breakfast with Santa at Bramble Park Zoo:  Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his animal friends at the Bramble Park Zoo on a Saturday morning in December. Activities inside the Discovery Center as well as outside in the winter cold to view the animals at the zoo.