Group: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Event: International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) 2017
Date: May 20-25, 2017

Approximately 1,400 attendees from over 70 countries convened in Rapid City, S.D., at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center May 20-25 for the 2017 World Finals of the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) sponsored by IBM.

This was a large and complex event, but Rapid City responded like it always does: folks rolled up their sleeves and pitched in. Over 200 volunteers assisted with jobs from stuffing gift bags and constructing workstations to serving as tour guides, airport greeters, office helpers and ushers.

“We didn’t just have 200 volunteers,” stated Dr. Antonette Logar, board member of Excellence in Computer Programming (ECP), the nonprofit organization involved in bringing the ICPC World Finals to Rapid City. “We had 200 volunteers that the ICPC said were the best, smartest, hardest working, most dedicated volunteers they’ve ever seen anywhere in the world.”

ICPC World Finals

ICPC participants came early and stayed late for the opportunity to explore downtown Rapid City and the surrounding area on their own and in organized tours. A scavenger hunt, ICPC Quest, was designed to encourage detailed exploration of the city. The quest included sites like the City of Presidents, a collection of bronze statues of past U.S. presidents, and Main Street Square, a fun-filled public space attracting locals and visitors alike.

In addition, the contestants also took field trips to iconic landmarks throughout the Black Hills and Badlands. Field trips included places like the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the endlessly fascinating terrain of Badlands National Park and a cultural celebration complete with entertainment, buffets and Native American exhibits at the world’s largest mountain carving in progress, Crazy Horse Memorial.

ICPC Show Floor

The quality experience, both on- and off-site, and generous hospitality of Rapid City made this contest a big success. It was also what helped convince this large event that Rapid City was the perfect choice from the very beginning. Offering high-class amenities and monumental adventure, the possibilities for this group were limitless.

“They [ICPC participants] were so amazed at the people that they met and they knew this was a town that could get things done,” said Logar.

It may be over; however, the hope is the real impact will be felt for years to come within the community.


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