After the Flood by Bill Richards

As you are probably aware SW Minnesota suffered bad flooding in early July. I reported about it on July 7th and July 9th. Now the pageant has sent out an update and I’m republishing this here with permission.

Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN
Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN

After the Flood by Bill Richards

After the flood, Noah floated quite a while before landing and restarting civilization. Mucking out the ark after nearly a year must have been very educational. The water here has drained away in most places. Though we didn’t get 40 days of flooding, we did get more than enough to require a thorough cleaning after the muddy water receded.

Flood water is not selective. Like most, the Wilder Pageant site lost items of value as well as things that should have been tossed years ago. With the volunteer help after the flood, the site was cleaned and organized better than it had been in years. Expenses due to water damage will increase expenses by almost $10,000 when completed. Overall revenue was down by half. The $30,000 plus loss has been cushioned by generous donations of over $15,000 to date.

Like a bull session after a tough season, the Wilder Pageant Committee gathered last Monday night to take a look at the past and to prepare to move towards the future. Dressing rooms, secure costume storage and the Livery Stable corner of the stage were among the items that need repair and replacement. Another “Little House TV Reunion” is in the works spearheaded by the Wilder Museum. This will require another tremendous effort as did the 2014 event. Road construction on Highway 14 and flood-damaged roads may require added signage to help people navigate.

New members were welcomed. The past year of goal setting was briefly reviewed. From the 100 plus suggestions, the top 29 were evaluated for need, cost and potential for accomplishment. Changing the name of the pageant, added rain insurance and package deals for tour operators were not endorsed. Upgrading restrooms, adding more events for families, improving seating at the site and discounted tickets for the community were referred for further study.

Some items have been accomplished. We have new committee members, set three-year terms for the board, costumed the set crew and brought in $12,00 through various grants. Increased social media presence, improved communication with area businesses and creating and funding an executive manager position are ongoing.

It was a good session with fresh ideas and a sense that there will be a pageant at the end of the rainbow next year.

Wilder Pageant
PO Box 313
Walnut Grove, MN 56180


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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

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 , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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