Photo from the Go Fund Me Page
Wilder Pageant’s Big Flood on the Prairie
WILDER PAGEANT GO FUND ME REQUEST - $30,000 (https://www.gofundme.com/wilder-pageant-committee)
Flood waters have dropped but the cost of repair continues to rise. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant needs your help to stay afloat.
Opening night of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant’s outdoor drama “ Fragments of a Dream” in Walnut Grove could be renamed the “Big Flood on the Prairie.” With over nine inches of rain in a few hours, several Southwest Minnesota communities lost power, saw roads washed out, fields under water, and suffered sewer soaked basements. Heavy rain, flooding, storm damage, and cleanup also pushed back the opening of the Wilder Pageant Production.
Plum Creek took a lead roll and covered the pageant site in three to six feet of water. There was damage to sets, costumes, sound and light equipment as well as access roads at the Wilder Pageant site. A second “flood” of cast, crew and community pitched in at a fever pace to clean, rebuild, and repair the site so that the 41st production could be a success. As “Old Laura” in the production says, “Sooner or later the grasshoppers fly away and the creek goes down.” We would add “The show must go on!”
Two Thursday performances were added. July 12th was a special Flood Relief Night with general admission tickets reduced from $18 to $5 for several communities impacted by flood damage. An inch of rain an hour before the show and threatening weather did not dampen the spirit of the hardy group of enthusiastic Laura fans. In many ways, Laura’s story is their story too as they face nature’s unpredictable turns and gather strength from faith, family and friends to go on and do good things. July 19th will be the second Flood Relief Night.
We hope you will consider our Go Fund Me request. Your donations will be used to perform needed repairs to the damaged facilities. At the present time we are aware of the need for repair and replacement of at least the following items: Women’s Costume and Dressing Room, large speakers, power generator, several costumes, stage scrims, sump pump and tank, Shop vac, air compressor and power tools, several loads of gravel for road and set areas, paint, set skirting, and 4 - 200 amp electrical breakers. Lost revenue from the two missed performances was anticipated at $25,000. There are other buildings on the pageant grounds that are starting to show warping and mold and mildew damage. The over 300 hours of volunteer cleanup help was beyond priceless!
The Wilder Museum, located in the town of Walnut Grove was not damaged and is open for business. The Ingalls Dugout Site north of Walnut Grove sustained significant damage to roads, parking and the walking bridge that crosses Plum Creek to the site where the dugout was located.
The Wilder Pageant Committee produces the outdoor historical drama “Fragments of a Dream” recounting the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family during their time in Walnut Grove, Minnesota in the late 1800’s. Over 300,000 people have been to the production in the past 40 years. A volunteer cast and crew of over 60 people create a story of strength and overcoming adversity through faith, family and friends. The production runs three weekends each July. For more information check out our webpage at http://walnutgrove.org/pageant.html
The Wilder Pageant Committee is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to historical education, entertainment, economic & tourism development and encouraging a common community purpose.
There are also videos of the flooding at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH2bqXmVDTijojMhRzkiZuw/videos