Summer breeze and a majestic prairie night sky serves as the backdrop for the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant each summer. During three consecutive weekends in July, the charming town of De Smet, South Dakota becomes filled with visitors who are looking to see what life on the prairie was like for one of America’s most treasured authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Every year a live re-enactment of one of Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” novels comes to life in De Smet. The performance takes places in an open-air theater beneath the prairie sky, making it a unique experience for all attendees.
This year’s 40th anniversary pageant performance is “By the Shores of Silver Lake.” In Dakota Territory Pa works for the railroad, and Laura takes her first train ride as she, her sisters, and their mother come out to live with Pa on the shores of Silver Lake. The Ingalls family spends the winter in the Surveyors’ House and as spring arrives, they watch as the little town of De Smet becomes a bustling, busy town.
Make the trip to De Smet an all day affair! There is plenty to keep you and your family busy prior to show time. Satisfy your taste buds while you sample delicious treats at the Prairie Popper. Visit the Ingalls homestead. Commemorate your trip with a special souvenir in the Whatnot Shop. Take a family photo, listen to pre-show music, and enjoy a free wagon ride, just like the one Laura Ingalls Wilder use to ride in.
Seating is provided by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society, which consists of traditional wooden benches. However, if you prefer, you may bring your own lawn chairs and blankets to make you as comfortable as possible for the show.
The price of admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Children under the age of five are admitted free. Seats are general admission and you can purchase tickets at the gate. The gates open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m.
The dates for this year’s pageant will be:
For more information on this event visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant website.