Digital Events Updated: July 6, 2020
Scroll Down. They are Listed below the Homesite schedule.
Digital Events Updated: July 8, 2020
Book Club event postponed until July 9, 2020.
UPDATED July 13, 2020: Follow this link to my Laura Ingalls Wilder fandom 2020 podcast.
I didn’t do a podcast episode this year projecting what was going in Laura Ingalls Wilder fandom this year. — Boy, that was a good call. I wouldn’t have even been close and frankly I don’t know that I know a lot now. Please consider all of this as possible to change. Check directly with any site before you go.
No matter what they’ve ended up doing the museums were forcibly closed a least part of the year in prime school tour time. Like many other institutions they need help. If you have some extra money or you’re looking for something to put part of your stimulus money, any of the homesites could use some money.
Before we get into the official homesite reports, I want to take a moment to point out the biggest on-going Laura Ingalls Wilder event of the year. Starting in March Alison Angrim began reading the “Little House” books on her Facebook page. It’s had a large audience and a good chunk of them are TV show fans so it’s wonderful they’re being exposed to the books. Also, Alison is pointing out the layers of the story which I think some people don’t get.
Starting Friday, June 12 at 10:00 am the museum will be open regular hours will be 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily (7 days a week). They will also be open July 4th & Labor Day. They are asking guests to wear a face mask and to observe social distance. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
Laura Days, their yearly festival, has been canceled for this year. Next year’s dates are September 11-12, 2021. There were some changes announced for this year. I think they will all still be in place next year.
Little House on the Prairie opened on June 1st. They encourage patrons to wears masks when inside the buildings. They will also be providing hand sanitizer inside each building to promote the safety of our patrons and employees.
Prairie Days was canceled this year. They will have a special event for Carrie’s 150th Birthday celebration August 1, 2020.
Walnut Grove, Minnesota
The museum opened on Friday, June 19th. They will be open limited days: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Limited Buildings are open. Social Distancing and masks are required.
Their pageant, Fragments of a Dream, was canceled for this year. However, they are going to do special online events. (See below.)
Burr Oak, Iowa
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Park & Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa has decided to remain closed for the 2020 season. They feel this is the safest option to protect their Staff, Volunteers and Guests. The online gift shop will remain open, so we encourage you to consider supporting the museum in this way.
Their Laura Days event is canceled for the year.
DeSmet, South Dakota
Both the Ingalls Homestead and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society opened up as of June 1st. The Ingalls Homestead has put together a great list of everything that’s closed and opened there this year.
The pageant is being replaced by a radio play this year. It will be Facebook lived and then available through South Dakota Public Radio online. (See below)
Old Settler’s Day has been bumped back to August (no official date yet). The Harvey Dunn Plein Aire painting event is canceled for this year. They are exploring an option of having a digital version, but nothing is finalized yet.
Keystone, South Dakota
They will only let 14 people in at one time. Masks will be required. If you don’t have a mask the museum will have them for sale. There will be hand sanitizer for use. The museum will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Spring Valley, Minnesota
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Spring Valley has reopened as of June 13th. Visit daily between 10am – 4pm. You can walk-in for a self-guided tour or make a reservation for a guided tour. Masks are required.
The museum reopened as of June 1st. New safety measures have been implemented throughout the historic site, including 6 feet social distancing. All visitors are being asked to wear face masks. If you don’t have a mask, they are available for purchase for just a $1.00.
The Museum gallery and historic properties are being capacity controlled and hand sanitizing stations will be positioned around Rocky Ridge Farm.
Both Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camps for kids are canceled for the year.
Their new event in Mansfield is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Festival. It was held for the first time last year and was moved to the fall on the original schedule for the year. A selection of authors will be available for you to meet and sign books at the Ann Short Turner Community Center. Its new dates are November 5th and 6th.
At this point Wilder Days is still scheduled to happen October 9th and 10th.
Mansfield’s pageant, Laura’s Memories, is canceled. It will NOT be part of Wilder Days this year. It will return in 2021.
Malone, New York
They are open from 10:00am – 3:00pm, Thursday through Monday. Time slots available for tours are 10am, 11:30am, and 1pm. Tours are approximately 1 hour long, with time in between for sanitizing. Non tour visitors are always welcome, but access to the Wilder home and barns is only available through a guided tour. Certain smaller areas, for example the second floor of the Wilder farmhouse, will not be accessible and will NOT be included on the tour during this time.
Tours can be reserved online. Please make reservations at least 2 days in advance. Please call 518-483-1207 during open hours for questions or more information. Please call in advance if your group is large enough to require 2 tour groups (maximum per group is 5), so we can arrange times close together. Masks must be worn. Temperatures will be checked and contact information collected for contact tracing if needed.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
While the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site as part of the National Park Service is open with some COVID-19 protections in place, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is part of the National Archives and will be closed until the National Archives re-opens. As part of that they have canceled this year’s Laura Day event. Speaker William T. Anderson has been rebooked for next year. Luckily you don’t have to wait. Here’s Anderson’s last Laura Day appearance.
And since nobody asked, here’s mine.
The Walnut Grove pageant is canceled this summer. Instead they are doing a digital replacement series. I’m going to do one interview and when I get a finalized list I’ll add the other speakers. Watch for links when they come out.
The De Smet pageant is also canceled this summer. They are going to replace it with an online production called The Hard Winter. The Hard Winter was what The Long Winter was called before someone at Harpers decided that nothing should be presented to children as hard. The De Smet pageant people decided that instead of trying to get the proper rights clearences for Laura material, they’d instead do a brand new original production.
I had thought maybe they’d do the original radio play script of The Long Winter that they’d bought all rights to when they started the pageant. Instead it’s going to focus on the town in general’s experience with the Hard Winter. I think this is a great idea for a new take because as John Miller would say there were many more people who had very similar experiences during that winter. I’m looking forward to it.
Digital experiences by both groups are listed by date below. All times are Central Daylight Time.
July 8, 2020 at 10:00 am – Iowa Public Radio Book Club – Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder/ Birch Bark House – Louise Erdrich (fiction)
– I’ll be part of the on air book club. It will stream online live. Find all the information about how to stream it.
“Due to a technical issue in our Iowa City office, the July Talk of Iowa Book Club will now take place tomorrow, July 9, from 10-11 a.m. We apologize for the inconvenience!” UPDATED July 8 2020
Before July 9, 2020 – Walnut Grove Pageant’s LAURA’S PRAIRIE CHALLENGE! If you are more than a coach potato and want to get in the stream with us, request information and apply to enter email us at LaurasPrairieChallenge@gmail.com.
Online Laura-Nellie Contest. On Zoom you will be interviewed and asked to demonstrate some pioneer skills including (but not limited to) questions about Laura Ingalls Wilder and demonstrate a talent such as baking vanity cakes, dancing with your parents or even singing a song like ‘Ol Dan Tucker! We will do an initial round via Zoom and choose great performances to share live on our YouTube and Facebook.
Pa Ingalls Look – Alike Contest. Not to leave anyone without a chance to share, we are looking for recent images of you that look like Pa Ingalls! Email pictures! Must be suitable for children. We will do a live interview with the winner.
Both contests are about fun and recognition. There are no great prizes or free trips back in time but at least you’ll have the opportunity to imagine part of history with us in our two challenges! Deadline for emails to LaurasPrairieChallenge@gmail.com is July 9th. “Laura’s Prairie Summer” will be live at 7:00 p.m. July 10-11, 17-18, 24-25! Check the Wilder Pageant webpage at walnutgrove.org and our Facebook page for frequent updates.
Friday, July 10th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode ONE: A New Home / Dancing in the Blizzard
Dean Butler who played Almanzo Wilder on the NBC television series. Plus interview with Dale Cockrell, a specialist in American popular music will share his work as founder of “The Pa’s Fiddle Project,” an educational program dedicated to recording music of the “Little House” books and reconnecting the nation’s children with the rich music legacies embedded in them.
Saturday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. (DeSmet) The Hard Winter
Saturday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode TWO: Playing Games / Grasshoppers
Interview with Sarah S. Uthoff, a respected authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder, one-room schools, historic foodways, and living history will speak about her many Laura projects. She is a dominant online presence in the Laura Ingalls Wilder World with her Trundlebed Tales site and its many related connections. Uthoff is an active Wilder researcher and a well-known Wilder authority and sought after speaker.
Friday, July 17th at Noon. (DeSmet) The Hard Winter: It will be on SDPB Broadcast or at sdpb.org
Friday, July 17th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode THREE: Welcome Home / The Central Truth / Lemon Pie
William Anderson, author of the 2016 book “The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder”. He has written extensively about Laura Ingalls Wilder and has authored or edited around 25 books and more than a hundred articles.
Saturday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m. (DeSmet) The Hard Winter: It will be on SDPB Broadcast or at sdpb.org
Saturday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode FOUR: Brotherly Love (V) Missed Opportunity (L) Town Council
Wendy McClure, author of “The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie”.
Friday, July 24th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode FIVE: Justice with No Peace / Under the Stars
Alison Arngrim who played everyone’s favorite Nasty Nellie Oleson will join the series for a live interview with wit and stories you will not want to miss!
Barb Mayes Boustead climatologist and meteorologist who writes extensively about the weather described in Laura’s books.
Saturday, July 25th at 7:00 p.m. (Walnut Grove) Laura’s Prairie Summer:
Episode SIX: Vanity Takes the Cake / Making Laura’s Dream
Pamela Smith Hill, editor of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, an award winning Laura Ingalls Wilder biography.
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.