The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Gives People a Blast into the Past

Last Updated by Nate Wek on
South Dakota Department of Tourism

The Theater on the Prairie near De Smet, South Dakota continues their performance of “By the Shores of Lake Silver." Since 1951, people have flocked to De Smet for the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. This one-of-a-kind event brings back the stories of living life on the prarie. 

There will be performances this weekend and next weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) during the evenings.

Pageant Photo 3.jpg

Here's a little history about the pageant, via desmetpageant.org

1951 - Families gathered around their radios to listen to the Hallmark Playhouse presentation of "The Long Winter."

1955 - After receiving permission from Hallmark Playhouse to use its script, local actors performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium at no charge to the public.

1968 - As part of the summer arts festival, local actors once again performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium. People poured in, and extra chairs were brought in from the Lutheran Church, and still more people continued to come in.

1971 - Encouraged by the overwhelming response to the 1968 production, a group of local volunteers developed plans for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, an outdoors family drama to celebrate the life and writings of our home town author. Several local civic organizations-- the Kiwanis, Jaycees, and Chamber of Commerce assisted in the production.

1973 - The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society was founded, a non-profit organization committed to the preservation of Laura's legacy.

1974 - The LIW Pageant Society purchased thirty acres of land to become the pageant's permanent home. This beautiful section of land is nestled between the Ingalls Homestead, the big slough, and Silver Lake.

Pageant Photo 2.jpg

Each show starts at 8 pm CT, but the doors open at 6 pm CT. General Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children 6-12. Admission for anyone younger than 6-years old is free.

People attending the pageant this year are encouraged to dress appropriately, because it can get cool at night. For more information on the pageant, click here.

subscribe to sdpb email updates food blog link image learning blog link image living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

Art That Takes You Home

In The Moment ... July 18, 2018 Show 381 Hour 2 Jon Crane creates "Art that Takes You Home." After a tour at...

Renowned Artists Visit Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute

In The Moment ... June 19, 2018 Show 361 Hour 2 Art can be meditation, expression, activism, and escape. It can also...

Eagle Butte Artists Learn Tips To Flourish

Artists who turn their passion into a business venture can find it a challenge. They need to figure out the details...

2018 Sculpture Walk Installation

In The Moment ... May 2, 2018 Show 328 Hour 2 Visitors to Sioux Falls will soon be able to stand beneath a giant...

Books

Read, Baby, Read: What's America's Best-Loved Novel?

In The Moment ... May 22, 2018 Show 342 Hour 1 What's America's best-loved novel? You get to decide. PBS launches...

Author Kirk Wallace Johnson's "The Feather Thief"

In the Moment ... May 1, 2018 Show 327 Hour 1 The centuries-old art of salmon fishing fly-tying has a dark side. It...

Jane Yolen Celebrates #Yolen365 And Counting

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 1 In March, author Jane Yolen released her 365th book. That means you...

Christine Stewart: 41st Great Plains Writers Conference

In The Moment ... March 21, 2018 Show 301 Hour 2 The 41st Great Plains Writers Conference kicks off on March 23 at...

Music

Fun Approach To Music Theory

Andrew Rogers – in home music lessons designed for children and young adults. Uses a unique teaching style that...

The Literary Style of Reina del Cid

Reina del Cid kicks off her summer tour with a stop in Sioux Falls at the Icon Lounge. She joins SDPB's Lori Walsh...

Eric Johnson Returns For Black Hills Playhouse Opener

In The Moment ... May 29, 2018 Show 346 Hour 2 Leave the ordinary behind at this year's Black Hills Playhouse Season...

The Claudette's: Making Music In The Midst Of Crisis

In The Moment ... May 24, 2018 Show 344 Hour 1 The Claudettes play Total Drag Records in Sioux Falls, Saturday, May...

Theater

Broadway Choreographer Chet Walker

In the Moment ... April 9, 2018 Show 311 Hour 1 The University of South Dakota Theater Department presents "Cabaret"...

Images of the Past: Stage To Screen

In The Moment ... November 27, 2017 Show 227 Hour 2 A new exhibit at the Old Courthouse Museum tells the story of...

Personalities: From Huron High to Broadway

Singer, actor, and teacher Joseph Mahowald graduated from Huron High School in 1977. He went on to study music and...

In The Moment ... Alex Meyer's Scenic Design

In The Moment ... May 10, 2017 Show 090 Hour 2 Alex Meyer. He's a junior art and theater major at Augustana College...