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Pierre began as a rough-and-tumble frontier town, a place where gamblers, prospectors, ranchers and settlers alike stopped on the long trip west. As Pierre made the transition from railroad town to state capital, it shed its wild side, evolving into a friendly, family-oriented center of government. But though some of the livelier characters have long since moved on, Pierre doesn’t lack for lively entertainment.

Locals and tourists gather in restaurants and taverns to listen to live music, watch sporting events, sing karaoke and play pool, foosball and darts. Dancing, in square-dance halls and nightclubs, adds another dimension to the town’s nightlife. There is a three-screen movie theater playing current releases nightly, plus weekend matinees.

Opportunities to play video lottery abound in Pierre, but if you’re seeking the excitement of gambling in a major casino, you can drive 58 miles to Lower Brule. The casino there offers gaming, dining and hotel accommodations. Well-known entertainers perform regularly. 

Pierre is home to a small but thriving arts community, including the longest-running local theatre group in the state. Since 1967, the Pierre Players have thrilled audiences in town and across the state with nearly 150 shows and have sponsored 12 touring productions.