Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Pioneerland Library System collaborated with Plum Creek Library System to our south to bring busloads of library patrons from our region to the pageant. This was sponsored in part by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, as well as by the pageant itself.
dugout site, where the Ingalls lived during the book On the Banks of Plum Creek. It’s a privately-owned farm where the family allows tourists to visit for a small fee. The dugout itself collapsed long ago, but the sunken spot is there to see. The Ingalls family certainly lived in small houses for most of their lives.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum or to go to the Family Festival taking place that afternoon. I toured the museum, which is a group of small buildings. They include a schoolhouse, a dugout, a chapel, and some old-fashioned houses, and they house the museum’s collections. This museum has little that belonged to the Ingalls, but it teaches visitors about her life and times and her books, as well as the television series that was based loosely on the books.
pageant, which takes place a short distance outside of town. The chairs are on a hillside, with general seating open on either side for people who bring blankets or lawn chairs. The stage area includes a permanent dugout and a pioneer town backdrop. The production itself was impressive. It’s community theater that’s perfected by performing the show every year. The Ingalls family rides onto the stage area in a covered wagon pulled by a team of horses. The church is a massive set piece that’s put up by the cast and crew when the congregation builds a church in the story. The prairie fire is real fire, and really exciting. The “social” is a big dance number that is a showstopper. When Mary loses her sight, it’s very sad. Nellie and Willie are appropriately obnoxious. The play is funny, it’s touching, and it shows the immense difficulties that Minnesota settlers faced in the 19th century.