Siouxland Heritage Museums created an event for fellow history enthusiasts to gather, have snacks, drink libations, and discuss a variety of topics dealing with the history of Sioux Falls. Director of the education department Kevin Gansz chatted with 605 about the upcoming  1900-1927 HHH September 28 at 6:30 p.m.

How did this particular program come about?

Kevin Gansz: It seems to be a fun idea that is happening in museums across the country. We’re aware of a few different museums in the region, like Denver, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, that have been doing similar programs like this as a fun way to bring in a different audience into the museum and hear an interesting topic. It’s beyond just sitting in an audience for a lecture-based historical program that’s a more offbeat topic while you enjoy a couple glasses of wine and beer and give a new spin to history.

What types of themes have you had for programs?

KG: We started off with Jason Currie-Olson from WoodGrain Brewing Company talking about the history of the brewing process, how they do their brewing, and then we did a beer tasting. So we kicked it off right way with the program being about having a drink and learning history, so why don’t we learn the history behind the drink? We’ve had Jeff Gould [from Miller Funeral Home] come talk last October about funeral and mourning practices. We’ve had some people come from the State Theatre to talk about where they’re at with the State, where they’ve been, and where they’re going, so we’ve really had an eclectic group of programs.

Where is the event hosted?

KG: We’re hosting them at the Pettigrew Home & Museum. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m. You can come in and we’re prepared  to give you a quick tour of the Pettigrew House if you haven’t been or haven’t been in a while. There is a program room, and it’s a very intimate space. We have room for about 30 people. Light snacks are available, you can get a glass of wine or a beer, and you can look around the exhibits until the program begins.

Is beer and wine available there, or do you need to bring it?

KG: We offer it there. Depending on what our theme is, we decide on if we’ll do beer or wine. For example, we have author Denise DePaolo coming up in November talking about her new book (South Dakota Wine: A Fruitful History) talking about the history of wine, so we’ll certainly have wine for that one.

Tell us about the upcoming HHH.

KG: It’s with historian Stephen Cusulos. He is a researcher, whose family is originally from Sioux Falls (he lives up in the Cities), and he’s very interested in the 1920s time period… what was going on. It was a very vibrant time in Sioux Falls. One of the things he’s very interested in is the mix of cultures. But even in the middle of South Dakota, there were very worldly things available… and there’s the Roaring ‘20s, and Sioux Falls was very much seeing a part of that.

Do people ever dress up at the events?

KG: I don’t really think we’ve had that yet, but maybe someone will with a ‘20s theme, and we’ll get some flappers!

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Old Courthouse Museum. Participants must be 21 or older, and tickets come with two beverages. For more information, visit

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