This year all three of the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageants were canceled (Walnut Grove, De Smet, Mansfield, inclusive). The Walnut Grove and De Smet pageants decided to go online. Note these videos are only up temporarily so once they come down the links will be broken.
De Smet Pageant
This year the De Smet Pageant was supposed to be The Long Winter. They are on a system now where they rotate through all the novels in the series set in De Smet. They thought it would be too hard to get permission to do the book. I had originally hoped they’d do the Hallmark Hall of Fame radio play (which they had the rights to and which would have been really cool). Instead they announced that it was going to be based more on other people’s experiences in town.
Having seen it now, it was still more focused on the Ingalls family than I expected. It still has more on real people than the supporting player status they normally get.
They live streamed it on Facebook on Saturday, July 11, 2020. It was repeated twice on South Dakota Public Radio and for right now you can still stream the Facebook version.
Walnut Grove Pageant
The Walnut Grove Pageant took a different tack. They are had a program what should have been each night of the pageant. They joint livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. There were some technological issues on a couple of the nights, but for a brand new attempt they did a great job.
Currently the episodes are still available on YouTube, but they’ll be coming down. However, they are working on released them on DVD. An additional fundraising project for it is selling these great shirts.
Support Your Local Pageant
Fans who visit some of the places that Laura Ingalls Wilder lived have been able to get a peek at “Laura” and her family through a pageant. These pageants have been going for decades. They are staged almost entirely by volunteers. It’s amazing they’ve been able to stay going for as long as they have. Reach out to the pageants, donate to their fundraisers. Help keep the pageants around for your dream trip.
Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.