Black Hills Energy has supported Sanford Underground Research Facility’s free annual science festival since it began in 2009

Mon, 06/13/2022 - 01:25 pm (MDT) By ebroberg

LEAD, SD— The Community Giving Committee of Black Hills Energy, South Dakota has approved a $10,000 grant for Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) Foundation to support the Neutrino Day science festival.

“Black Hills Energy has proudly sponsored Neutrino Day since 2009,” said Marsha Nichols, community affairs manager for the company’s South Dakota electric utility. “We’re excited to support SURF’s world-renown science and the community of Lead as they host the Black Hills’ most unique, family-oriented event.”

Every year, SURF’s free, citywide science festival draws thousands of visitors to Lead, South Dakota, on the second Saturday of July. The research facility started the festival in 2009 to introduce the public to scientific research happening a mile underground at SURF. Since then, Neutrino Day has ballooned to feature speakers, activities and demonstrations from a range of STEM disciplines and to include partners in technology, science and education sectors from across the region.

From the start, Black Hills Energy has been Neutrino Day’s largest corporate sponsor. And the commitment to public science outreach goes beyond financial support; many Black Hills Energy employees give their time and energy to volunteer during Neutrino Day each year.

“Neutrino Day is SURF’s signature event, and Black Hills Energy’s generous support over the years has allowed us to bring in top-notch speakers and create unique experiences for visitors to the community,” said Constance Walter, SURF communications director and coordinator of Neutrino Day. “We greatly appreciate their support in making Neutrino Day a success and look forward to working with their volunteers again this year.”

Due to the pandemic, Neutrino Day was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Neutrino Day returns to an in-person format, bringing all the excitement and adventure of past Neutrino Days. The free, citywide festival will take place Saturday, July 9, 2022.

“We are so excited to return to Lead, and this sponsorship will help us put on a fantastic event,” Walter said.

This year’s event will feature hoistroom tours, science activities and exhibits for all ages, live video chats with scientists underground at SURF, and engaging talks about the research happening beneath visitors’ feet. Neutrino Day’s keynote speaker is Dianna Cowern, creator and host of the viral “Physics Girl” YouTube series. To learn more about Neutrino Day 2022, visit

Sanford Underground Research Facility is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit SURF at