Happy Friday! Megan here.

🐾 Some good news: If you regularly check my little "what I'm falling for" section of the newsletter, you already know I love looking at the adoptable pets at the Humane Society. A sweet pup named Robert has been on that list for a very long time, but happy to report that after 261 days, he's been adopted!

Weather check: Warm (but keep an eye out for possible thunderstorms)

This week, you'll meet the Washington High School student behind an event to recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. You'll also find a round-up of ways to support moms on Mother's Day while also supporting local businesses. And, of course, don't miss our weekly event guide. The weather is warming up, which means there's no shortage of stuff to do.

And now, news:


Get smart about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Duyen Nguyen

Duyen Nguyen is a junior at Washington High School. She's involved in varsity show choir, a leader in the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association (APISA), and she wants to pursue a business degree from the University of Minnesota.

  • We chatted with her about leading APISA and how the she's helping the group celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this month.

Tell us about your own heritage and why it’s important to you

I am Vietnamese American.

  • Both my parents are Vietnamese, and they immigrated to the states in 1992. My dad came to the states thanks to my grandpa’s military sponsorship program and my mom thanks to the Amerasian Homecoming Act

Growing up in a place like Sioux Falls, I always felt there was a lack of diversity which made me feel more connected with my own heritage.

  • Vietnamese was my first language, and I remember celebrating all the cultural holidays such as Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

When I was younger, I remember I was always so hesitant talking about my own culture in public and always trying to fit in with the rest of the kids at school and in society.

  • It almost felt like living two separate lives. One where I could express myself and embrace myself in my own heritage at home and the other submerged in being the oddball in the crowd while still trying to fit in.

As I grow older, I’ve learned to simply embrace my heritage and appreciate how beautiful being a Vietnamese American is. I think that learning about your own heritage and embracing it is very important because you get to explore who you are and appreciate what makes you, you.

We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe the AAPI heritage month in 10 words or less?

Rich culture, traditions, history that will never be forgotten.

See the full interview here.


Super Simplified Stories

  • Levitt season announced. Levitt at the Falls announced its lineup of 50 free concerts coming to downtown this summer. Find the full lineup here.
  • Get a first look at the new Lincoln County Courthouse. Sioux Falls Live has an early look at the new facility and the 40-plus acre campus.
  • Weatherman meets pizza place. Sunny's Pizzeria announced this week that longtime Sioux Falls weatherman Phil Schreck will be the 2023 addition to the business's wall of nobility mural. Here's a mock-up of what mural Phil Schreck will look like:


Show mom some (local) love this Mother's Day

Simplified: Mother's Day is just around the corner. Here are a few ways to show mom some love while also supporting Sioux Falls businesses.

Photo by Leohoho / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • She birthed you.*

*Or raised you, or served as a maternal figure in your life. Or, maybe you're looking for a way to just celebrate mom friends, your own partner, moms in general, it's all tough work and deserves to be celebrated.

Ok, ok – just make it easy for me to do something nice

Here are some suggestions:

  • Brunch it up. It's a classic tradition. Take mom to a local brunch spot – there are plenty to choose from! (Though, if you need help finding options, KKRC has a roundup of local spots.)
  • Send a gift. Mom doesn't live in town? Consider sending a custom gift box from a local company like Wonderfully Made Co. or Prairie & Pine.
  • Give her a spa moment. The Spa on Phillips has a spa package just for mom including a massage, mani/pedi and facial. Or, if you want a special mom and kid spa day, they've also got a "Mommy & Me" mani/pedi package.
  • Send flowers. As with most of these categories, there are more local businesses than can fit in just one story, but a couple to get you started are Bella Rosa Flower Market, The Flower Mill and The Flower Lady. Want something longer lasting? Try a dried arrangement from In Flower. Or, take it one step further and have Trykket Flowers preserve the bouquet you buy her.
  • Send something sweet. For the mom who would rather have food than flowers, you've got plenty of options. Oh My Cupcakes has a bouquet of cupcakes, Day Lily Coffee has cakes for pre-order, or you can always pick up something fancy from CH Patisserie.
  • Take her out for a beer. Severance Brewing Co. is hosting a Mother's Day market on Saturday, May 13 where people can make their own flower bouquet, shop local vendors and, of course, grab a beer.
  • Don't forget the dog moms. Fur babies are a lot of work, too. Shop Dog Boutique is celebrating pet parents and raising money for Rescue Network during their event starting 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13.


Stuff to do: May 5-11

  • It's farmer's market season! It's the first weekend for the Falls Park Farmer's Market starting at 8 a.m. downtown. It's also the kickoff of the Brandon Farmer's Market is this Saturday. Stop by from 9 a.n. to 1:30 p.m. to shop local vendors.
  • In vino artem. See some art and sip some wine this weekend at the downtown Art and Wine Walk. Participating locations downtown will have art to see and artists to meet. Wine punch cards are $25. Details here.
  • Snag some second-hand finds. Find a new treasure at the Brandon city-wide rummage that starts on Thursday. Details and a list of participating locations can be found here.
  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Salas Salsas is teaming up with Buffalo Ridge Brewing for a Cinco de Mayo party starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday night. Details here.
  • See a show. The Goodnight Theatre Collective is putting on "Company," a Stephen Sondheim musical, this weekend. Details and tickets here.
  • Recognize those lost. South Dakota Urban Indian Health is hosting a vigil to name and remember those lost in recognition of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Day. Vigil starts 6 p.m. Friday at the Arc of Dreams.


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or theater tickets to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, Selah Space and Silverstar Car Wash. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.