There’s a stranger lurking on the streets of Huron, South Dakota. Like most locals, he wears a cowboy hat, boots and blue jeans, but his face is often hidden from view.
Although many people search for him, no one fears him. In fact, visitors often come to Huron in the southeast part of the state specifically to seek out this friendly stranger. Most don’t find him, but are nonetheless better for the search.
Mural Art in South Dakota
The stranger is a figure painted into one of 21 murals that adorn buildings throughout downtown Huron, population 12,000. The story goes that he is a local who became friendly with one of the mural artists, visiting him each day at work as the mural came to life on the side of a building.
The same artist created a couple of other murals in town and the hat-wearing stranger appears in all of them. You have to look closely – a kind of Where’s Waldo-type activity in Huron.
Themes for the murals range from “The Heart of Pheasant Territory” to “Downtown Saturday Night.” “Seeds of Democracy” gives a nod to Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s roots in Huron. “A Celebration of Independence” features a family on a blanket spread on the prairie watching the fireworks in the distance. Two murals feature sporting events, including baseball as “America’s Favorite Pastime.”
The artists commissioned for this work have come from across North America – Seattle, San Francisco, Fort Collins Colorado, Decorah Iowa and beyond. But there are also a number of artists from right around Huron.
Not every community can have a Mount Rushmore to call their own, but the folks of Huron are quite proud of their history and their little community.
And if you’re a mojotraveler, you’ll think it’s worth driving a bit out of your way to find that stranger lurking on the streets of Huron South Dakota.