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 banner image Web_Art&Culture_330x85-2.png sdpb food pages link children and education link banner image sdpb news and information link image science and technology posts link sports and leisure link banner image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

Dignity Dedicated Near Chamberlain

South Dakota has a new monumental piece of art. A fifty foot tall stainless steel sculpture now stands on the...

NATIVE Act Boosts Tribal Tourism, Art

This week Congress passed an act to spur tribal tourism and increase support for tribal art. The act boosts federal...

Dakota Midday: 'Rivers, Wings, And Sky' And Artistic Partnership

Art and poetry go hand in hand. Artist Nancy Losacker and and poet Norma Wilson show just how to combine the two creative outlets in their joint-exhibit and new...

Eagle Butte Explores Culture And Art At Graffiti Jam

Artists from around the world are shaking their spray paint cans in preparation for the second annual RedCan Graffiti Jam. Hosted by the Cheyenne River Youth Project,...

Books

Michael Dirda: A Life In Books And The Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prize-winning book reviewer Michael Dirda takes a look back at a career as a professional reader. From...

Dakota Midday: J. Ryan Stradal

J. Ryan Stradal is the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest. A Minnesota native, Stradal lives in Los Angeles...

Dakota Midday: Paul Andrew Hutton

Paul Andrew Hutton joined Dakota Midday from the SD Festival of Books in Brookings. Hutton is a distinguished...

Dakota Midday: Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of the 2016 Young Readers One Book South Dakota, Andy Shane and Delores...

Music

Dakota Midday: Bob Everhart Tours With Rural Music

Live phone interview with Smithsonian-Folkways recording artist Bob Everhart. He’ll discuss the preservation of...

Glenn Miller Music Still Puts Folks "In The Mood"

Glenn Miller and his big band were at the height of their fame when World War Two began. Two years after...

Original Compositions Celebrate National Parks

A Michigan ensemble is hitting the road with new music to celebrate the anniversary of the National Park System. Two...

Dakota Midday: Hank Harris And Jeff Severson

Hank Harris and Jeff Severson join Dakota Midday for live music and musings on everything from the influence of...

Theater

Dakota Midday: Lisa McNulty On Female Artists

The Off-Broadway Women's Project Theater is the oldest and largest theater company that promotes women artists in...

Dakota Midday: Playwright Bill Russell's Journey to Broadway

Tony nominated Broadway lyricist and playwright Bill Russell was born in Deadwood and raised in Spearfish. His...

DWU Plans $1 Million Theater Project

After dedicating a new sports and wellness center this past month, Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is now...

DakotaCast Podcast (Episode #12): Rapid City Central Theater Director Justin Speck

The 60th annual State One Act Play Festival took place at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls over the weekend. It...