Cast Reunion 2019 Pageant Tickets Are Now Available

Cast on Stage Courtesy of Linda Starbuck
Cast on Stage
Courtesy of Linda Starbuck

Wilder Pageant Tickets are on sale now! Shows are July 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, and 20, 2019. Tickets are $20 for Reserved Seating and $18 for General Admission on July 5, 6, 19, and 20. The Little House on the Prairie Cast Reunion is July 12 and 13. Tickets for those nights are $35 for Reserved Seats and $33 for General Admission. You can purchase tickets by going online at http://walnutgrove.org/ticket-information.html or by calling (888) 859-3102.

The signing will take place during the day in town, but in the evening on Friday and Saturday nights there will be a question and answer session at the pageant. The pageant is a classic play put together to tell the story of Laura’s family during their time in Walnut Grove. In place of the normal pre-show they bring the whole cast on stage and take questions from the audience. These tickets are for the play and question and answer session out at the pageant grounds.

The pageant itself is well worth the ticket. So is getting the reserved seats so you can sit in the folding chairs. I suggest the red section if you can get them because they are in the middle right in front of the stage. If they put the questions on the house set again the green section is right in front of it. I need to update my travel advice post, but it still is useful.

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 Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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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.

 www.gofundme.com/wilder-pageant-committee

 walnutgrove.org/index.html

Wilder Pageant
PO Box 313
Walnut Grove, MN 56180

888-859-3102
507-859-2174

pageant@walnutgrove.org

Walnut Grove Pageant Works Towards Recovery

Footbridge at Dugout Site Surrounded by Flood Water
Footbridge at Dugout Site Surrounded by Flood Water

TO: All Media Outlets [ For Immediate Release]
FR: William Richards (507-828-6616) Media
DA: July 5, 2018
RE: Wilder Pageant Rebuilding after Big Flood on the Prairie

On July 3rd, nine inches of rain and over three feet of churning Plum Creek swept parts of the set and staging away at the Wilder Pageant site forcing cancellation of this weekends performances. The water is receding leaving mud and holes. Pageant cast and crew have been quick to repair and restore road access and electrical and other services to allow for cleaning and repair.

The Wilder Pageant production, “Fragments of A Dream” about the early life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove, will add Thursday performances to the next two weeks schedules to provide opportunity for people who were unable to see shows this weekend. The Family Festival will be on for the next two Saturdays and Pageant suppers will be offered on all pageant dates.

Plum Creek Flood Waters Receding
Plum Creek Flood Waters Receding

Volunteers have been cleaning, washing, rebuilding and checking out all sound and light systems to get the show back on track for the next six performances. Roads in the area have been flooded so it is best to check on which roads to use to get to Walnut Grove and the pageant site. The Wilder Museum is in full operation but the Laura Ingalls Wilder Dugout site is not available due to significant water damage to the road. Contact either the Wilder Pageant (888-859-3102) or Wilder Museum (888-528-7298) in Walnut Grove or access the web site at  http://walnutgrove.org/index.html

Costumes in Storage Trailor
Costumes in Storage Trailer

From Erin Richards, director of the Wilder Pageant: “The waters have receded and the land is drying up. It is now time for clean-up. The pageant committee has set clean up times as follows: Friday, 5:00-9:00 p.m; Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.; and Monday, 5:00-9:00 p.m. We will be setting chairs at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. It is still muddy and very dirty out there so closed toe shoes or boots are a must, boots are best. We have gloves available for your use. Gravel has been put down but be careful where you park. Masks are also recommended as some areas are very ‘fragrant’ with mold and mildew. If you bring young children, you need to watch them at all times as we don’t know what’s been left over from the flood such as objects or contamination. Thanks for all continued support! You are all wonderful.”

If you are in the area and can help—please do!

http://walnutgrove.org/index.html

Floods Continue in SW Minnesota

Road with a HUGE hole washed away
Road Washed out on way to Pageant Grounds – Photo by
Nancy Amsden

I reported yesterday that the pageant was cancelled for this weekend since the pageant grounds are flooded. They are still waiting to see what’s going on after the water goes down, but hopefully they’ll still get something worked out for the following two weekends. That’s their current plan anyway. If you have tickets definitely call first and check road closures for the surrounding areas.

A red building and board walkway with rails now under water
Flood Waters Surround Building at End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum – Photo courtesy of Jakob Etrheim

There are other museums in the area also under flood danger.

Wheels Across the Prairie

Wheels Across the Prairie Museum is located in Tracy, Minnesota – the next town down the line from Walnut Grove. This is where Ma, Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace waited for Pa to pick them up at the end of the line of the railroad. The museum has the original depot including the bench they would have waited on. They also have the Laura collection of Marcy Schramm that’s in the main building which is safe from the flood so far. Schramm’s father was one of the founders of the museum.

According to Jon Wendorff, Wheels’s director, water has overtaken the “blacksmith shop, general store, cottage, one-room school house and our new building.” They are closed until Saturday, possibly longer. Wendorff says, “pray for the rain to stop all across the state.”

Historic Village surrounded by flood waters
End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum – Buildings Surrounded by Water – Photo courtesy of Jakob Etrheim

End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum

End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum is about a county south of Walnut Grove in Currie, MN. I must admit I’ve only driven past although it’s been on my agenda to stop for awhile. Funny thing I always seem to be leaving Walnut Grove heading West…. 🙂

It’s a historic village/railroad museum and it has one of the end of the line turn arounds like Laura describes in Tracy in By the Shores of Silver Lake. I’ve seen one before, but if you haven’t – and even if you have – it’s worth a stop if it fits into your schedule.

Like Walnut Grove and Tracy, Currie has been under flood conditions. The main road east of town is shut down at the bridge.

According to Jakob Etrheim the water hasn’t made it into their buildings yet. “So far so good. Water is up to the buildings but not in yet. But the crest hasn’t come yet either.”

Cedar Rapids Flood

As I said in my intial report, we’re experienced in flooding. Ushers Ferry Historic Village where I used to work was majorly effected in both 2008 and 2016. There is a lot to flood recovery. It’s not just waiting for the water to go down.

Send all these museums and organizations and good thoughts and maybe consider how much you could send to help keep our southwestern Minnesota Laura sites up and running once they get that far. I’ll do my best to keep you updated.

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 Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

July 2015 Presentations

This year July has mostly been taken up by LauraPalooza. I will, however, be presenting during the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. We’ve been trying to work out a time to do it for awhile so I’m glad it finally worked out. This will bring the number of Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites I’ve spoken at to 5. 🙂

Family Photo
Family Photo
  • Family Festival during Walnut Grove Pageant “Fragments of a Dream” – Walnut Grove, Minnesota – July 25, 2015
  • I will also be attending the LauraPalooza conference, but I’m not making a presentation. I will be Master of Ceremonies for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy Award.

But even if there isn’t a program scheduled near you, it’s not too late. If you’d like me to come present near you make sure to tell your local library, museum or civic group. I’m really excited about my “In the Kitchen With Laura” program for this summer. If you are looking for a program, check them out.  Learn more here:
http://www.trundlebedtales.com/programs.html

And check out my brochure:
Brochure2014pg1

Sarah S. Uthoff 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Walnut Grove TV Show Reunion Report 1

Join us for an initial report on the biggest cast reunion for 40th Anniversary of the NBC Little House on the Prairie TV Show. It will be held in Walnut Grove, Minnesota the real life version of the setting of the TV show. This was recorded at the end of October, so a few things changed since then; another cast member has signed on (find the current list at the Official website), the pageant tickets are now available for sale, and they have some of the reunion souvenirs available now at the Walnut Grove Museum Gift Shop.

Our guest was Walnut Grove museum director Amy Ankrum and Paul Valenti calls in halfway as a surprise guest. They talk about the major event the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and the Walnut Grove Pageant are planning for next July in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the “Little House on the Prairie” TV show. We talked about what’s happening, who’s coming, and what to expect. Ankrum was coming off the five site meeting and will give us all the latest Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum news.

Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) and Sarah Uthoff (Sarah Uthoff)
Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) and Sarah Uthoff (Sarah Uthoff)

Click to listen:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2013/10/30/ep-46–walnut-grove-hosting-40th-anniversary

Official Website:
http://www.walnutgrove.org/Reunion.htm

Wading in Plum Creek Video:

Museum Twitter:
https://twitter.com/LIWMuseumWG

Paul’s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/pdvalenti64

Sarah S. Uthoff 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Events July 2013

July tends to be the busiest month for Laura Ingalls Wilder events. I hope that I’ve gotten them all.

Audience Volunteers Participate in Pageant
Audience Volunteers Participate in Pageant

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle, WI – Special Laura Ingalls Wilder Activities All Month
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/laura-ingalls-wilder-month-at-old-world-wisconsin

Almanzo Wilder Farm – Malone/Burke, NY – July 6, 2013  Children’s Gala and Independence Day Celebration
Children’s activities, artwork on display in the museum. 10:00 AM -4:00 PM Self guided tours. Reduced Admission: Adults $5.00, children 6-16 $3.00, 5 and under free; Bring a picnic lunch! Food and beverages will be available.

Laura’s Memories Pageant – Mansfield, MO – July 5-6, 2013 (One weekend only in July, other dates will continue in August and September)
The evening shows are on 7:30 PM both days and the morning performance on the 6th only at 10:30 AM.
http://www.laurasmemories.com/calendar-of-events

Note: The De Smet, South Dakota and Walnut Grove, Minnesota Pageants are normally on the same weekends to facilitate you attending both.  However, it looks like they got thrown off this year. Also, note that De Smet still does Sunday shows and Walnut Grove doesn’t.

Walnut Grove Pageant, Walnut Grove, MN – July 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 2013
The pageant starts at 9:00 PM.  Check the special events schedule separately.
http://www.walnutgrove.org/pageant.htm (Pageant)
http://www.walnutgrove.org/events.htm (Special Events)

De Smet Pageant – De Smet, SD –  July 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 2013
Little Town on the Prairie is the selection for this year the pageant starts at 8:00 PM with the gates opening at 6:00 PM.
http://www.desmetpageant.org

Little House on the Prairie Museum – Independence, KS – Special Living History Appearences
-Schoolhouse Days with Mrs. Little- July 13th 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
-Meet Caroline Ingalls- July 27th 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
http://www.littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com/Little_House_on_the_Prairie_Museum/2013_Events.html

UPDATE: Mary Ingalls Tours, Iowa School for the Blind – Vinton, IA – July 16, 2013
Contact the school and ask for Pat Barr for more information
http://www.iowa-braille.k12.ia.us

UPDATE: Franklin County Fair – Malone, NY – July 17-21, 2013
http://www.frcofair.com

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days – Heritage Hill – Green Bay, WI – July 26-27, 2013
Event at a historic park, but focuses on guests this year Alison Arngrim (TV’s Nellie Oleson)  and Dean Butler (TV’s Almanzo Wilder), 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
http://www.heritagehillgb.org/calendar/laura-ingalls-wilder-daysfriday/267