The University of South Dakota's annual homecoming celebration that showcases the pride and school spirit of USD.
The 2023 Dakota Days celebration is scheduled for Oct. 1 - Oct. 7.
Arguably the most highly anticipated campus tradition, Dakota Days devotes an entire week to showcasing the pride and school spirit that define life at USD. The homecoming festivities take place every October and boast plenty of events for students, alumni and individuals of all ages.
Dakota Days Schedule of Events
Dakota Days features events designed for all members of the Coyote community. Whether you are returning to campus or currently living in Vermillion, there is a Dakota Days event for you!
Sunday, October 1
Paint the MUC Red
5 – 8 p.m. | MUC First Floor
Help us paint the MUC red with Dakota Days spirit! Event to include food, Dakota Days giveaways, and lots of energy!
Monday, October 2
Dakota Days Kickoff & Royalty Reveal
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Sanford Coyote Sports Center
Community event featuring family fun activities, basketball showcase, and homecoming pep rally. Event to feature a performance by Electric Jumpers. The top 14 Dakota Days royalty candidates will be announced during the event.
Tuesday, October 3
Dakota Days Lunch & Learn
12 p.m. | MUC Ballroom
Faculty and staff are invited to celebrate Dakota Days with lunch, networking, giveaways and more. This event is hosted by the USD Foundation & Alumni Association.
5 p.m. | MUC First Floor
We are bringing the pack together for a Dakota Days party! Event to include a Dome Dog eating contest, interactive games, activities, “Pie a Professor”, and more! Tell a friend to tell two friends to meet us at the MUC and let's make a Coyote Connection!
Wednesday, October 4
Coffee with a Cop
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | MUC Pit
Come have coffee and a donut with UPD officers and dispatchers. We would love to meet you!
Coyote Trap Obstacle Course
4 – 6:30 p.m. | USD Track Complex from 4:00pm-6:30pm
Dance Party in Studio 112
7 – 8 p.m. | Wellness Center
8 p.m. | MUC East Lawn
Bring a blanket and your pack, and enjoy free snacks, firepits, s’mores, games, and the movie Top Gun Maverick.
Thursday, October 5
USD-SF Dakota Days Celebration
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | USD-SF Campus
Family fun activities, food, Charlie’s gear available. Event to feature a performance by the Sound of USD. All students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families are welcome.
Continuing Your Legacy
8 p.m. | Carey’s Bar
Co-hosted by Vermillion NEXT and the USD Alumni Association, this event will provide an opportunity for upperclassmen to network with young professionals and alumni. All are welcome!
Dakota Days Street Dance
8 – 11 p.m. | Downtown Vermillion
Bring your dancing shoes and meet us on the Platz!
Friday, October 6
Dakota Days First Friday
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | MUC Pit
Celebrate Dakota Days with music, games, swag. Food provided by Famous Dave's. Dakota Days door-decorating contest winners to be announced during the event.
Trustee Annual Meeting & Luncheon
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Dome Club
Event to feature a conversation about the changing landscape of USD athletics. All USD Trustees are welcome.
Field Day on the Arts & Sciences Lawn
2 – 4 p.m. | Arts & Sciences Lawn
Celebrate the 2023 Dakota Days at the College of Arts & Sciences with refreshments and outdoor games on the lawn in front of Arts & Sciences. Bocce ball, cornhole, and croquet are just a few games to look forward to! This event is free and open to the public
Beacom Open House
3 – 5 p.m. | Beacom Atrium, First Floor
Join alumni, students, faculty and staff of the Beacom School of Business for the Dakota Days Open House! Refreshments and appetizers will be provided. RSVPs to Marti Carlson at Marti.Carlson@usd.edu are requested by September 29.
Knudson School of Law Dakota Days Reception
3 – 5 p.m. | Student Commons of the Law School
Reconnect with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and current students as we celebrate the 2023 Unleash Your Legacy Award recipients including law alumni Matt Michels, Robert Anderson, Sheridan Cash Anderson and Cash Anderson. Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Please RSVP here.
Destination Delzell & Awards of Delzell
4 – 6 p.m. | Delzell School of Education
Join alumni, students, faculty and staff of the School of Education for the 3rd annual Destination Delzell. Event to include the presentation of this year’s Legends of Delzell recipients.
Unleash Your Legacy Alumni Achievement Awards
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Sanford Coyote Sports Center
Reconnect with Coyotes and celebrate the 2023 Alumni Achievement Award recipients and the Legacy Family of the Year. Additional information and event registration is available here.
Saturday, October 7
109th Dakota Days Parade
9 a.m. | Main Street
Hospitality tent available at Inman House. Geaux Yotes!
Coyote Alley Tailgate
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | DakotaDome
South Dakota v. Murray State
2 p.m. | DakotaDome Tickets are available here.
Show Your Spirit
Geaux Yotes! Decorate a Mardi Gras-themed float for this year’s Dakota Days Celebration
The Dakota Days Parade will take place at 9 a.m. on October 7, driving down Main Street, Vermillion.
Charlie’s bookstore & fan shop is a must-stop for the big event. Stock up on Coyote gear at one of our many locations including Muenster University Center, downtown, tailgate or in the DakotaDome on gameday.
Catch a ride on the free community shuttle. Busses will be running a continuous route around Vermillion to make travel to and from Saturdays events. See the route map for pick up points around town. Hours are from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on October 7.
Need a ride outside of these hours? Stay safe by using Saferides – offered Friday-Saturday from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. Just call 605-624-7433.