On December 26, 1887, a group of 13 men left Sioux Falls, South Dakota and traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where El Kahir Temple initiated them into the Shrine. It was on April 3, 1888, that dispensation was granted to El Riad Temple. On May 25, 1888, W.O. Stites, first Potentate of El Riad Temple, called the first Ceremonial of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in Dakota Territory to order in Sioux Falls. 33 men were taken in to El Riad Temple at this ceremonial. The many units and clubs of El Riad Shrine offer something for everyone and is the lifeblood of our fraternity.

Clubs and Units:

Our famous 6,600 square feet dance floor has been a hit for decades. The Arkota Ballroom opened on November 11, 1925, at the corner of 13th Street and Phillips Avenue. It was Armistice Day, and Sioux Falls residents still were celebrating the end of World War I seven years before. Through the years, the Arkota Ballroom (El Riad Shrine’s original name before we purchased the building in 1980) served as host to amazing acts from the big band and swing era as well as rock ’n’ roll acts. Performers of note include Count Basie, Gene Krupa, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Welk, Guy Lumbardo and Dion and the Belmonts, as well as local music legends Myron Lee and the Caddies. Today, we rent our venue to the public (and shrine members) for a myriad of events including:

  • Anniversaries 
  • Birthdays
  • Concerts 
  • Conferences 
  • Fundraisers 
  • Gender Reveals 
  • Graduations 
  • Meetings 
  • Plays 
  • Receptions 
  • Rehearsal dinners 
  • Retreats 
  • Weddings 
  • Workshops 
  • and more...

Every Wednesday night, units and clubs of El Riad Shrine host our nobility, their families, and the public, for dinner, drinks, and sometimes entertainment. Our membership committee hosts monthly rush parties at the Shrine in an effort to educate and recruit men to become Master Masons. There are three local lodges (Minnehaha Lodge #5, Unity Lodge #130, and Trinity Lodge #200) and then El Riad Shriners.

 

Beyond the fraternity, we’re deeply proud of helping our Shriners Hospitals for Children patients with roadrunner trips as well as our annual Patient Christmas Party. Over the recent years, we’ve spotlighted these local children with testimonial videos that can be watched on our website: ElRiad.org .

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