WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Walnut Grove — In the past the Wilder Museum and the Wilder Pageant have collaborated to bring one or two Little House stars for the pageant weekends.
In talking with Amy Ankrum, museum director, the two groups are in the process of putting together a reunion of Little House stars the last weekend of the pageant next year.
The reason for taking on this project is twofold, it is the fortieth anniversary of the Wilder Museum, and it is the fortieth anniversary of the Little House on the Prairie television series.
According to Ankrum they have been asked in the past by former stars to do a reunion weekend in Walnut Grove.
A couple of cast reunions have been held in the midwest, in 2007 there was a Little House reunion held at Beatrice, Nebraska which was put together by the National Park Service as part of the Nebraska Homestead days. Another cast reunion was held in 2009 at Keystone South Dakota where Laura’s sister Carrie lived for 35 years.
Ankrum is hoping this reunion will be a major event that will coordinate with the fortieth anniversary of the museum.
Ankrum said, “we really don’t know what to expect — but contracts went out this week to many cast members. We are hoping to get between eight to fifteen of the stars from the show.” Prior to sending out the contracts 11 of the cast members indicated they would be interested in coming for the reunion.
The reunion is being planned for the last weekend of the pageant, July 25, 26, 27 of 2014.
So far the planners have determined tickets for the pageant performances will include all activities as well as the pageant. The tickets will be limited to 2,000 per performance. The price will also be partially determined by the number of stars contracted to come for the event.
At this time the committee is throwing around ideas for the event. There will likely be individual autograph signings during the weekend in town as well as other special activities.
There is a Star Committee in place at the museum that helps with the logistics of handling the stars while they are here. They help with autograph sessions and other things. Ankrum said they will be needing more help with that committee.
“We will definitely need to line up more food vendors for the event — it will be a great opportunity for the community organizations to hold fund raisers,” she said.
This is going to be a real community event and there will be opportunities for residents to get involved with planning and working on various projects during the event. It also should be a plus for the whole area as people will be using lodging and restaurants around the area.
If you want to become involved — helping plan or working as a volunteer for various committees or projects — contact museum director Amy Ankrum at the Wilder Museum.
Ankrum said, “we hope to have contracts back within the next month, we are hoping we have at least eight to fifteen to make it go.”
Logistics are the biggest issue facing the committees at this time. Ankrum said, “it is going to take a lot of volunteers to accommodate up to 5,000 people that weekend. Taking care of that many people will be a challenge to a large degree.”
It is going to be a fun and interesting weekend and will give Walnut Grove a lot of recognition for years to come.
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