Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Hey, everyone!

I'm so excited and flattered that Chris asked me to write guest post this week! I'm his #1 fan, and I think his blog is the best!

Chris and I have been friends since we were babies, and we've been together for all of life's milestones, even when we went to different colleges.

I spent five amazing years at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and Chris came to visit me quite often.

One annual tradition that has remained since college is the annual homecoming celebration, Dakota Days.

Dakota Days, or D-Days as it is more widely known, comes once a year, typically the first week in October. There are events all week for the students, but when the weekend comes around, that's when the celebration goes to a whole new level.

D-Days is a time honored tradition that brings in USD alumni from all over to spend time together, drink champagne straight out of the bottle, dance, and shout USD cheers as loud as humanly possible. If you've never been in a packed Carey's Bar while someone starts up the “U-S-D” cheer, you're really missing out.

We love USD, we love each other (mostly), and we most definitely love slices of R-Pizza and cheeseballs at 2 a.m. that you have to wait an hour in line for.

We want everyone to know how much we love everything, so we shout. A lot. There's also a lot of random dancing, shrieking and hugging. It's a very intense holiday.

In short: If you have a voice, any money in your pocket and no new friends that you made at 1:30 a.m. While drunkenly talking about life, you, my friend, did not do it right.  

Chris spent at least one D-Days with me when I was a student. I believe we spent the evening riding around listening to music (with a desginated driver), yelling, “Happy D-Days!” at people walking down the street and asking people what their favorite color is. It was a blast.

Side note: Yelling “Happy D-Days!” as loud as you can during D-Days weekend is acceptable at any time of day. People expect it, it's like saying hello.

D-Days comes only once a year, and for us alums, we only get one weekend, so we've got to make it count. No one gets much sleep this weekend. Diet Coke flows like water.

There are several components that make D-Days fantastic:


It truly wouldn't be D-Days without ridiculousness that you would question if you were anywhere other than Vermillion on homecoming weekend.

One year, I kid you not, I saw a man jump up on the bar, sing AND dance to "Brandy." Other guys jumped up on the bar, and started doing the same thing. Women threw their scarves and jackets  at them, there was hooting and clapping, it was fantastic. The bartender totally just let it happen, too.


There's also the regulars everyone looks forward to seeing, that you never see any other time of year. They're like mystical creatures that only emerge once a year to bring us D-Days blessings. I don't question it.

Every year on D-Days, we run into this girl.

Even though the dates of D-Days change slightly from year-to-year, it's always somehow this chick's birthday. Every year, she blows through the door of the Main Street Pub wearing a tiara, a sash, and a t-shirt that she wants everyone to sign. She's usually screaming for someone to buy her shots, someone usually obliges.

I don't even know this girl's name, even though I'm sure she's drunkenly told me what it is at least 27 times. I always end up waiting in line in the bathroom when she shows up, and she wants me to sign her t-shirt 15 times. One time, I think I even helped her up off the floor when she fell. In the bathroom. We're practically best friends.
I think the first year she made her appearance, she tried to get on the bar and dance, but the bartenders weren't not into that. Maybe if "Brandy" had been playing she would have had better luck.

Nobody loves D-Days more or parties harder than this girl. Props to you, girlfriend.
Also, a big shout-out to the dude who introduced himself to me as “A Nice Guy,” and then told me he could get me a job.

I asked him what kind of job, he replied, “ANY JOB.” I typed that in all caps, because he really did yell that at me. And all my friends. Apparently he can get them all ANY JOB too.

Dude's making it rain.Though, I tend to suspect “ANY JOB” might be a code word for sexual favors. I'm gonna pass, “Nice Guy.”


D-Days is a source of pride for a USD students. It's been a tradition since 1914:
“South Dakota Day is a unique feature in the history of the University. It is not too much to say then that the day has come to stay as one of the annual features of the School, and that each year will see it bettered and enlarged, until it will become a traditional day to University students and Alumni."  –The Coyote, 1916

There's really nothing like it.

You've got a killer parade:

A football game with one of God's greatest foods, the dome dog:

And cheek cheer.

God bless cheek cheer.

This is the weekend you want to bust out anything bedazzled, sequined or shiny. This year, I busted out my new sequin moto jacket. Holla!

My boyfriend Dan, also a USD alum, made a shotski last year, which automatically made him the most popular guy at D-Days.

If you've never worked a shotski before, it's basically a ski with four shot glasses on it. You all have to take a shot at once, or someone gets jagermeister dumped on their head (that actually happened once, it was funny). It really should be an olympic sport.

See that guy staring at us? He was so drunk he thought my friend Becca's name was Katie, who I assume is his girlfriend. He kept yelling at her and then grabbed her arm to drag her out of the bar. That's when I had to step in and shut that shit down, because D-Days is not about being a dick. He was promptly escorted out of the bar.

Who you spend it with

This is probably the most important.

For the last several years, I've had the fortune to be able to spend D-Days with my dear friends, Jen, Becca and Ellyn.

Jen usually stays at a hotel with her husband and Dan (in a separate room, of course), but they couldn't make it this year (and were sorely missed. I camp out for a few days with Ellyn and Becca at Ellyn's place. It's a great time to hang out, catch up on life, and in general, laugh about what's going on in our lives.

Also, Ellyn sometimes like to show off her 4-H skills by sewing up a dress three minutes before we go out.

She gets a blue ribbon.

We don't all get to see each other nearly enough. I love them to the moon and back.

Next year is the 100th anniversary of D-Days, and I can't wait to see all my favorites again.

Remember, D-Days comes only once a year, but it lives on in our hearts all year long.

'Till next year, we out!

- Beth

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