Sioux Falls is a special place. We are surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty. It's a hotspot for growth and history. And it has been that way for decades.

45 years ago this May (2024) Sioux Falls was again part of history.

On May 23, 1979, Randy Rohl and Grady Quinn became the first openly gay couple in the United States to attend prom together.

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“It was just us being real and being who we are.” - Grady Quinn

In early May 1979, Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls approved a request from a male senior to bring another man as his date to that year's prom.

The Argus Leader reports that at the time, the only rule for prom was that one-half of the couple had to be a senior.

The request was from Randy Rohl. It was approved and on the evening of the 23rd, the couple wore powder blue tuxedos, red rose boutonnieres, and silver pierced earrings to the Downtown Holiday Inn’s Embassy Room.

″The only special treatment they got was a lot of room on the dance floor,″ Randy told reporters at the time.

MORE: South Dakota Elects Its First Out Gay Man to State Legislature

Reports at the time said that there were some police on hand, and Rohl did get threats.

Also, the Sioux Falls school's Superintendent had some pointed comments reported by the press.

"It's pathetic and sad...Other than some danger, such as safety or whatever, we have no way to exclude him."

But, despite some initial commotion from the media, the dance went on as planned.

Breaking Barriers: The First Openly Gay Prom Couple's Historic Night In Sioux Falls

After the prom life continued as normal and the pair lost touch. Quinn moved to Omaha, Nebraska for school. Rohl moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota. He traveled the world and settled for a time with family in Germany.

Randy returned to Minnesota in 1993 to be close to family because his health was getting worse. Randy was weak and dying from complications of AIDS. Randy passed late in the evening of December 31, 1993.

In 2019 Sioux Falls Pride held the first Randy Rohl Youth Prom to honor Rohl and to provide students who don't feel safe or welcome at their school's prom with a place to celebrate.


Sources: Associated Press, Argus Leader, Minnesota Public Radio News

7 Real Reasons to Not Move to Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a boomtown. I think we can safely say that. The metro area is nearly a quarter of a million people strong. The future of the Sioux Empire looks to be more of the same. It makes sense, Sioux Falls is a wonderful place to live.

Not too big, not too small. If it was a bear, it would be the baby because it's just right. We have an urban feel to our Western lifestyle.

Those of us who have been in Sioux Falls for decades are used to welcoming the regular flow of new neighbors that our city attracts.

More people means more ideas and more opportunities for Sioux Falls and its citizens.

A while ago I listed some reasons for people to NOT move to Sioux Falls. It was a humorous, ironic celebration of our town.

But the jokes and seeing lots of people asking online about living in the Queen City got me thinking, what are some real reasons for someone to not move to Sioux Falls?

2024 Sioux Falls Area Concert Calendar [UPDATED]

2024 is looking to be another awesome year for live music in Sioux Falls.

We'll continue to see the Denny Sanford PREMIERE Center in Sioux Falls hosting big-name music acts.

There are also fantastic shows planned for Grandfalls Casino, The District, Icon, The Alliance, Bigs Bar, and more.

Here are the concerts that have been announced for 2024 in and around Sioux Falls.

Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns


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