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June 04, 2014
Little House television stars coming to Walnut Grove
Wilder Museum reunion will coincide with the 40th reunion of Little House on the Prairie television show, Walnut Grove will host both events
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Walnut Grove — It’s only fitting that the fortieth reunion of the Little House television cast should meet this summer in Walnut Grove, the town featured in the show — when you consider it is also the fortieth reunion of the Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the book Little House on the Prairie which was the basis for the television show. Even though when she wrote the book she never mentioned the town name, which was brought out in the television series.
Several of the stars have been here before, with Alison Arngrim, Nasty Nellie Oleson, making the most appearances, starting in 1994. The museum has a pair of her panty hose that she took off then after jumping in the creek at the Ingall’s dug-out site on the Gordon farm north of Walnut Grove. Ever since her first visit Arngrim has made a strong connection with Walnut Grove. In 2012 she dropped in for a surprise visit while her friend Charlotte Stewart who played Laura’s teacher Miss Beadle was visiting during the 2012 Wilder Pageant. Arngrim also appeared the following week that year.
In all 10 former cast members will be making appearances the weekend of July 25-27.
Other actors that will be returning to Walnut Grove for the reunion are; Dean Butler who played Laura’s husband in the series. Lindsay and Rachel Greenbush twins that played Carrie Ingalls.
Five other actors will be coming to Walnut Grove for the first time. They are Lucy Lee Flippen who played Eliza Jane Wilder Charles Ingalls sister. Wendi Turnbaugh Lee and Brenda Turnbaugh Weatherby who played Grace Ingalls. Hersha Parady who played Alice Garvey. Finally Radames Pera who played John Sanderson Edwards the adopted son of Mr. Edwards (Victor French).
There has been several cast reunions over the years at various Little House sites, but this is the first for Walnut Grove.
In 2012 Arngrim talked about the television show. That year it was very hot while she was at the Family Festival, and said, “It’s Hot!” “Hello I am Alison Arngrim or as most of you know me the evil Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie.”
She talked about some of the episodes and scenes in the television show.
She talked about the closeness of all the characters. “We were really like a family, and we still are a close knit group,” she said. “We are shocked how the show goes on and continues to be such an influence on people around the world.”
When asked how Willie was, Arngrim replied, “he was a lot like the real Willie! “He never read the scripts — when asked why, he said, “I like to be surprised when I see it on TV.”
She was asked about the episode where Laura pushed her down the hill in the wheel chair, if she did the scene herself? She said, “it was one of my favorite episodes, they used a double for the steep part of the scene, and the flip into the pond. They filmed me on a much less steep hill and edited me coming up from the water.”
That is just a sampling of the fun Laura fans will have while these stars are visiting Walnut Grove.
There will be a lot of presentations by the stars as well as many autograph and photo opportunities with them.
The stars will be appearing during the final weekend of the Wilder Pageant July 25,26,27.
Reserved VIP tickets are already sold out for the Friday and Saturday 25,26 performances. Although there are still a fair amount of general admission tickets left for both of those nights. Reserved and general admission tickets are still available for the weekends of July 11, 12, and 18, 19. Persons purchasing general admission tickets are reminded to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating. All pageant visitors are reminded to bring jackets or blankets as it does often get cool after the sun sets.
Autograph sessions the final weekend will be held at three locations in Walnut Grove. At the Wilder Museum, at the Family Festival in the city park, and on the corner opposite from Bubai Foods on the corner of Main and Sixth Streets. Note the Family Festival will be held both Friday and Saturday that weekend. Sunday morning a breakfast at the community center will be sponsored by the Walnut Grove Lions Club.
All ten of the stars will be on hand for that event. It will be the only time there will be a photo opportunity with all of the stars in one place.
Friday afternoon there will be a stage presentation in the park by twins who played Carrie, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, and twins that played Grace, Wendi and
Friday and Saturday evening the stars will be at the pageant site to give presentations and Question and Answer Session before each performance of the pageant.
Saturday afternoon the son and daughter of Victor French who played Mr. Edwards on the television show, will give a presentation talking about his career. His son Victor Junior was his stunt double on the show. They have extensive knowledge about the television show.
Extra food vendors have been lined up for this event, as well as the pageant suppers sponsored by community organizations at the community center on pageant evenings.
The Stars Committee is comprised of Amy Ankrum, Kari Maas, Robyn Hansen, Cathy Baumann, Lynn Swanson, and Lori Johnson.
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