I just returned from a weekend trip to South Dakota, where I attended the Brookings Summer Arts Festival and the 40th Anniversary Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in De Smet with my son Tim, daughter-in-law Carrie, and two of our nine grandchildren, Madeline (almost 7) and Garrison (3).
Each year a group of over 100 volunteers produce an outdoors play on a 30-acre tract of land between the Ingalls homestead, the big slough, and Silver Lake. A narrator reads from one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books . This year the play reenacted scenes from By the Shores of Silver Lake. www. Desmetpageant.org.
Before the play we visited the Ingalls Homestead, which includes a life-size replica dugout, a claim shanty, barn, growing crops, native prairie, ponies, and covered wagons drawn by beautiful Clydesdale horses to tour the 160-acre homestead. The highlight of the visit for my granddaughter was a short classroom session in the 1880 school, an actual school moved to the site that had been used until the late 1940s. I actually attended a one-room country school until 4th grade, so I guess I'm "vintage!" The highlight for Garrison was getting to "drive" the Clydesdales for a short distance (with the real driver holding the reins behind him.
I made Madeline a prairie dress, pinafore and sunbonnet, and attempted to make a farmer boy outfit for Garrison using the photo on the cover of the Farmer Boy book as a guide.
To celebrate the end of Laura Ingalls Wilder Week, I'm hosting a giveaway. On Thursday, July 14, 2011, I'll be giving away three postcards of vintage photos: Carrie, Mary and Laura Ingalls as young girls, taken in De Smet; The Charles Ingalls Family in later years; and Laura and Almanzo Wilder, purchased at the Ingalls Homestead Gift Shop. There's also an online shop: http://www.ingallshomestead.com/shop/ I'll also include my gently used copy of Wendy McClure's book, The Wilder Life. http://pasqueflowerponderings.blogspot.com/2011/07/laura-ingalls-wilder-week-on-ponderings_06.html. How to enter? Just leave a Comment below. I don't have a fancy number-generator, but I'll do an old-fashioned numbers-in-a-sunbonnet drawing and post the winner
On Friday, July 15, 2011.
LeAnn aka pasqueflower