Corn Palace is surprised by the announcement of a possible 'Corn Kid' visit to South Dakota

Dominik Dausch
Farm Forum
Tariq, otherwise known as "Corn Kid," is planned to visit the Michell Corn Palace in South Dakota, according to the state Department of Tourism, but Corn Palace staff say they were surprised by the announcement.

Tariq — or "Corn Kid," an apt moniker for the young TikTok sensation whose love of corn went viral — is coming to South Dakota this weekend.

South Dakota Department of Tourism stated in a press release sent Friday that Tariq is officially scheduled to visit the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

The release states the Department of Tourism will hold a press conference with Tariq Saturday morning, which includes asking him questions and a "corn-tasting." The department will also bestow Tariq with the title of "South Dakota Corn-Bassador."

"To respect Tariq (as he’s just a youngster) we are not actively publicizing the press conference time. Spectators won’t be turned away, but we are hoping to avoid an overwhelming crowd," the release stated.

The announcement of his arrival was news to Corn Palace staff, however, whose venue will now host Tariq and his family after the state's Department of Tourism made a surprise announcement Thursday.

"We just found out about it," Craig Stucky, Corn Palace box office concessions supervisor, said. "Obviously, we're looking forward to it. We have some details to work out, some things to figure out. But we just don't know anything yet."

SDDOT Public Relations Director Katlyn Svendsen told the Farm Forum the department communicated with the Corn Palace on Tariq's potential visit, but the information "might not have trickled down" to all staff members.

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When is the 'corn kid' coming to the Corn Palace?

He was supposed to visit the Corn Palace with his family Friday, but Svendsen cited a pilot shortage has delayed their stop and further complicated the attempt to bring him to the Mount Rushmore state.

"We ran into flight cancelation issues for Tariq's family, so we're planning on getting them to South Dakota this weekend," Svendsen said. "Just some wires got crossed."

Mitchell CVB director Tiffany Batdorf said the Department of Tourism has been working with them to bring Tariq and seven of his family members to the state, but said the announcement was not supposed to have been made yet.

"The state (Department of Tourism) was handling all the press information," Batdorf told Farm Forum Thursday. "But I think, 'Oh, this shouldn't have come out this early.'"

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Batdorf added the city has multiple events planned for Tariq's arrival, including a tour of the Corn Palace and a local dairy farm. She said the state is planning a proclamation for him.

"He'll have lunch here in Mitchell, so, hopefully, if we can get some new flights for him and we get those details nailed down, we can send out some more information," Batdorf said.

Who is the 'Corn Kid'?

On “Recess Therapy,” a series where children are interviewed, the host Julian Shapiro-Barnum talks to a kid name Tariq about the joys of corn. Tariq loves corn and mentions how everything changed for him when he tried some with butter.

The video has millions of views on TikTok and Instagram — and even inspired a viral song that you will not be able to get out of your head.

Dominik Dausch is the agriculture and environment reporter for the Argus Leader and editor of Farm Forum. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @DomDNP and send news tips to ddausch@gannett.com.