Wilder Pageant

Wilder (Laura Ingalls) Pageant

July, over three consecutive three-day weekends
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant is held every July over three consecutive three-day weekends in De Smet, S.Dak., where the beloved author came of age in the late 19th century. The pageant features a play based on one of Wilder's autobiographical novels, such as Little House on the Prairie or The Long Winter. The plays are produced and performed outdoors by about 100 local volunteers on a 30-acre site purchased in 1974 especially for this purpose by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society. The site is nestled between the site of the actual Ingalls homestead, the big slough, and Silver Lake—all locations made famous by Wilder's books. Pageant-goers can enjoy a pioneer-themed gift shop and cafÉ, as well as music and free wagon rides while they wait for each evening's show to start.
The inspiration for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant was a 1951 radio dramatization of The Long Winter, which is set in De Smet. Local people gained permission to turn the radio play into a drama, which they performed for free in 1955 at the town's high-school auditorium. In 1968, a group of De Smet actors revived the play for a summer arts festival. Its success prompted volunteers to launch the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant as an outdoor family play to celebrate the life and works of De Smet's hometown author. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1973 and the pageant site was purchased a year later. People from all over the world now gather there to celebrate the family values and pioneering spirit captured forever by Wilder's books.
CONTACTS:
Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant
P.O. Box 154
De Smet, SD 57231
800-776-3594 or 800-880-3383