South Dakota city mourns urban cornstalk’s brief life


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (NewsNation) — Residents of South Dakota’s largest city are mourning an urban cornstalk that briefly became a lighthearted beacon of hope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stalk had been growing up through a crack in the concrete at the intersection of 57th Street and Minnesota Avenue on Sioux Falls’ south side, NewsNation affiliate KELO reported.

Dubbed the 57th Street Corn, complete with its own Twitter account during its brief life span, the plant was a symbol of resiliency and hope as the pandemic continued, Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

“Finding joy in the small things will continue to help us get through what has been a challenging time in our country,” the mayor said. “It was ‘amazing’ to see the community rally around the 57th Street corn as a sign of hope over the past few days.”

Residents reported Wednesday morning that someone had ripped out the lone stalk, prompting an outcry on social media. Someone attached a sign to a traffic post where the stalk grew that reads “CORN RIP.”

Another sign said “Had fun. Moved back to the Farm 💛U!”

“It’s been a long summer,” TenHaken tweeted after news of the cornstalk being ripped out.

The Stockyards Ag Experience, a group working to transform the city’s vacant stockyards into an interactive experience, is selling T-shirts commemorating the stalk.

South Dakota is home to an entire building dedicated to the crop: the World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, located west of Sioux Falls.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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