Saint Peter Family Prepares For Annual Wilder Pageant
WALNUT GROVE, MN- Reading "Little House on the Prairie" is one thing, but seeing it live and in person is a unique perspective.
The famous novel depicts the story of Laura Ingalls who spent a portion of her childhood in Walnut Grove.
The book's success has inspired this production about her written life... which has taken place for more than four decades and has even attracted some outsiders from Saint Peter.
Megan Ruble (playing Margaret Kennedy) says "We came as fans a couple years and they really wanted to be in it. I was a little scared about the drive because it's a good drive from Saint Peter, we rehearse five nights a week for five weeks. I eventually gave in and we joined the cast last year."
More than 50 performers will star in this year's pageant, with four of them being the Ruble's.
One of Megan's daughters is acting in this production for the very first time and managed to land the lead role of Laura Ingalls.
Piper Ruble (playing Laura Ingalls) says "A lot of my friends are coming to it. I'm excited for them to see me act because they don't see me act that much. I'm a little nervous because I've never been on a big stage like this."
A big stage it is; this event draws roughly 5,000 people every year including fans from outside the U.S.
Even so, stage fright isn't a part of these daughters' vocabulary, because they say enjoying the moment with their immediate and extended family outweighs any stage fright during the six summer nights.
Lyric Ruble (playing Julia Nelson) says "It's really fun to do the dances and be with the cast because they are so nice. It's nice to be surrounded by people you really like."
Breeley Ruble (playing Mary Ingalls) says "I really like being in front of people, speaking and acting. This is just a really fun thing to do. With my sisters, it's really weird because we bicker back stage but then we work really well on stage together."
It's been over 140 years since Laura Ingalls Wilder called Walnut Grove home, but like a pioneer, her timeless tale endures.
The three daughters (Breeley, Piper & Lyric) added "It's usually a lot more than you expect I feel like. You come here and you don't expect all of this and then you get it and you're like 'wow this is really cool.' There's fire, a bunch of sets that come out during the show. There's a big house, Olson's store comes out. Building church, that one's really cool how they just put it all together."
The first show will take place on Friday, July 6, with gates opening at 7:00 p.m.
Other performances will take place on July 7, 13-14, 20 & 21.
For ticket information, you can visit walnutgrove.org.
- KEYC 12