Prairie Days Festival dates set at Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie News Release

Contact: Michelle M. Martin (Director/Historian)
(620) 289-4238/(800) 822-3602 days
(620) 249-7749 evenings


Prairie Days Festival set for June 9th at Little House on the Prairie Museum

This year’s Prairie Days will feature stories from the life and times of famed children’s author Laura Ingalls Wilder. From the weather faced by our pioneer ancestors to the dangers of living on the Kansas prairies, Prairie Days 2012 has something for everyone. The event runs from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 9th at the historic site located south of Independence, Kansas off highway 75.

Music, children’s crafts, games, food, special guest speakers and a Little House character competition will fill the day at the historic site where famed children’s novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder once lived with her family 12 miles south of Independence. Located just off Hwy. 75, the site offers a replica log cabin, an authentic one-room schoolhouse and post office, the Prairie Store and a 19th century barn recently restored. Admission of $3 per adult and $1 per child will benefit the museum and its ongoing efforts to preserve, protect and share the heritage of Laura Ingalls Wilder with the public.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. on the main stage with a welcome from Jean Schodorf, board president, and site director Michelle Martin. The main stage will host a variety of activities throughout the day including music from favorites Colton and Zara. New to the stage this year is Jeff Broome, a historian and musician from Colorado who will perform inspiring guitar instrumentals. A Little House on the Prairie Read-A-Long will take place at various intervals during the day. Participants are encouraged to bring their copies of the children’s classic with them and read along as living historians and site staff and volunteers read their favorite passages from the book. As always, the annual Little House Character Competition will grace the main stage as well. 

In the Sunnyside one room schoolhouse, Kay Little, of Little History Adventures in Bartlesville, will present “One Room Schoolhouse Days.” The schoolhouse will also host two distinguished speakers that will bring pioneer history to life! Barb Mayes Boustead, a forecast meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska will present Wilder Weather. Boustead’s research focuses on the weather conditions as reported by Wilder in her classic children’s novels. Also in the schoolhouse, Jeff Broome share the true, chilling tale of Susanna Alderdice. Alderdice was taken captive by the Cheyenne in 1869 from her Lincoln, Kansas farmstead. An attempt by U.S. Cavalry troopers to free her resulted in the Battle of Summit Springs in Northeast Colorado. Broome will also sign copies of his book Dog Soldier Justice: The Ordeal of Susanna Alderdice in the Kansas Indian War.

Along with speakers, the grounds will come to life with various living historians including crowd favorite Paul Marshall of Peru, KS as Mister Edwards and Barry Linduff of Quawpaw, OK as the U. S. Postmaster of Wayside Kansas. Pioneer life and craft demonstrators will also show children of all ages how sheep were sheared, spinning, blacksmithing, quilting and flint knapping. Artist Cheryl Harness of Independence, MO will be on hand showing her Laura Ingalls Wilder inspired paintings and artwork. Elk Valley Power of the Past will exhibit various farm implements and provide tractor train rides for a small donation to their organization as well.

The character contest will launch afternoon events at 12:30 p.m. on the main stage. Children ages 1 – 12 are invited to dress as their favorite character from Little House on the Prairie. The contest entry fee per child is $5 and entrants can register the day of the competition on site. Prizes will be awarded to the first three places in age divisions. Registration the day of the event runs from 10:00 am to 12:15pm.

Barbecue will be available and there will be tables and chairs and hay bales for festival goers who wish to sit and relax. Snow cones and cotton candy will also be available for those wishing to cool off. An ongoing rotation of music, crafts, games, historical re-enactments and educational programs will round out the day.

In addition to Little House on the Prairie Museum, sponsors of the 2011 Prairie Days are the Independence Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce and Indy 102.9.

More information is available by calling (620) 289-4238 daily before 5 p.m. A detailed schedule is available at www.littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com and on the Little House Facebook page. You can receive Twitter updates by following the museum; their user handle is @lhotpmuseum.

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For images please contact Michelle M. Martin at lhopmuseumks@gmail.com

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