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downtown as well as on Broadway, Highway 50, Highway 52, the lake road and many more. Entertainment And if you’re interested in the bar scene, downtown Yankton is an entertainment mecca on nights and weekends. Thank You, Veterans Visit the veteran’s park at the corner of 3rd & Broadway, and then step inside the County Government Building to see enlargements of historic photos of the downtown area. Today’s Shopping HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HAS NEW LIFE Join The Fun – For A Day Or Forever Old river towns often have 19th century brick storefronts clustered near the shoreline, but South Dakotans know that Yankton is different; here the downtown district is alive with entrepreneurism, art, architecture and entertainment. When traditional retailing became the dominion of big box stores and the Internet, Yankton’s old shopping district withered for decades. Now it is being resurrected by community leaders as a center for innovation and creativity. “It is exciting to watch the changes taking place,” says Carmen Schramm, executive director of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce and one of the founders of a new group called Onward Yankton that is organizing a multi-faceted effort to re-energize the city. She says the city’s churches, schools, clubs and businesses are all playing parts. Some of the transformation is intangible, but much of it can be experienced in your visit to Yankton. Here are suggestions on how to best appreciate downtown today: Don’t Go Hungry Many spectacular lunch and dinner options from a fun little deli to a sports bar with ethnic flair. Or maybe you’d enjoy fine dining with a beautiful river view or a steakhouse, famous for its’ steaks since the 1950’s. There are many other options 70 – Yankton, South Dakota Shop the interesting collection of retail businesses that give new life to the downtown. Arts, antiques, gift items, clothing, crafts, home décor, liquors (including South Dakota wines), furniture, shoes and flowers can all be found in the stores. RiverWalk Sculptures Take the “sculpture walk,” a pedestrian browse past a dozen or more pieces of outdoor art by some of the West’s finest sculptors. Maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce, South Dakota Magazine, Rexall Drug and online at YanktonRiverWalk.org. The art extends through the downtown and along the walking path in nearby Riverside Park. Walking Bridge And while you’re on foot, be sure to walk the Meridian Bridge, a 1920’s two-tier car & truck bridge that has been converted to a pedestrian bridge. Enjoy the unusual view of the city and prairie from atop the historic bridge, which is touted as the longest walking bridge in the USA to connect two states over a major river. On the Nebraska side of the bridge, there’s an opportunity to hike a bit of the cottonwood forest that once dominated the river valley. The bridge also has signs that educate hikers on local history and nature. On summer days, children frolic in refreshing fountains at the foot of the bridge, while lovers clasp initialed padlocks on the bridge railing. Stay Awhile Maybe you’re interested in becoming a permanent part of downtown Yankton? Visit the Chamber of Commerce for more information, and check out Onward Yankton’s new headquarters at 104 W Third Street. Dreams come true in this river town!