The 103rd Dakota Days celebrations kicked off with the annual Yotes Got Talent show and the top 14 reveal of the candidates for Dakota Days royalty in Slagle Hall Sunday.
Yotes Got Talent performers included singers, a violinist and USD’s acapella group, the High Howlers.
Senior Marissa Reis said her favorite part of the night was seeing students with such great talents.
“It was just amazing,” she said. “Jaw-dropping.”
Senior Meredith Jenkins performed with the High Howlers and had a solo.
“It was really exciting to be up there with the group and know that we can do it,” Jenkins said. “Just being up there and doing what we love.”
The third place winner for Yotes Got Talent was Deshonte Helm with her performance of “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. Second place went to Michaela Goldhammer for her rendition of “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. The show’s winners were Eldon Warner and Brittany Kolbeck with their performance of an original song called “Live a Little.”
The night also included the top 14 reveal of Dakota Days royalty.
Senior Keri Kamphoff said she was excited and honored to be chosen as one of the top 14 candidates.
“I think it’s just a great experience because you get to meet lots of other people who you might not have known before,” she said. “I really enjoy getting to know all the new people and being able to be a part of Dakota Days in a new way.”
Kamphoff said the top 14 will now have to go through an interview process and write papers explaining what it would mean to them to be Mr. or Ms. Dakota. They’ll be in the parade on Saturday, and the winners will be announced during half-time of the football game.
Reis said she thought everyone who made the top 14 for royalty deserved it.
“I honestly thought that everyone who got it was a really good candidate,” Reis said.
Kamphoff said she’s looking forward to seeing everyone’s school spirit during the remainder of Dakota Days.
“I love seeing the sea of red and black all over the place,” Kamphoff said. “I just think everyone’s super excited during D-Days week, so I love the atmosphere.”