Cherokee is a city in Cherokee County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,369 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cherokee County. Cherokee is the home of the Sanford Museum and Planetarium which has exhibits and activities on a variety of subjects including: archaeology, art, astronomy, geology, history, natural history, and paleontology. Cherokee is the smallest town in the world to have its own symphony orchestra, the Cherokee Symphony. This 60-member orchestra has been referred to as "the best kept secret in Northwest Iowa". City events include the annual jazz festival in January, the Cherokee County Fair, and the Cherokee Rodeo. Cherokee is also the home of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute, under the Iowa Department of Human Services. The nearby Cherokee Sewer Site is a well-preserved prehistoric Indian bison processing site which helped to redefine the Archaic period in the Midwest and the Phipps Site is a National Historic Landmark 1000-year old Plains farming village that may have been fortified.