WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- By Tom Merchant

Sentinel Tribune

    Walnut Grove —  Once again the Wilder Museum and Information Center will be in charge of the Family Festival. Along with the usual food and specialty vendors, there will be family fun for all ages with different demonstrations, food, music  performances, games and crafts for the kids and much more.

    According to  Museum Director Amy Ankrum there will be a special Birthday Tribute to celebrate Laura’s 150th birthday.

    The party will be held in the shelter at the city park from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. There will be old fashion games, crafts and treats for those participating. There is a fee of $5.00 to participate, but parents or guardians of children that participate will not be charged to be with their children.

    During the pageant weekends there will be a variety of activities for visitors to do. The pageant performances will be held the next three weekends starting July 14-15 through July 28-29. Performances start at 9:00 p.m. following a performance of the Pageant


    Pageant suppers are served at the Walnut Grove Community Center before each performance serving from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. They are sponsored by local churches and community groups.

    If you have a hankering for the  pioneering spirit you might want to visit the Plum Creek Rendezvous located two miles south and one mile west of  Walnut Grove. The black powder shoot begins at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon.

    You won’t want to miss the Laura and Nellie Look-A-Like contest held at 3:00 at the Family Festival each Saturday. Registration from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for girls age 8-12. Prizes are based on authentic looks and knowledge of Laura and  Nellie from the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    The Walnut Grove Loggers will hold their annual fishing derby, Saturday July 22, for ages  12 and under. Derby starts at 10:00 a.m. at Lake Laura in Plum Creek Regional Park. Be sure to bring a fishing pole.

    Bus tours available during pageant weekends. Tours leave from the city park at 4:00 p.m. on Fridays, and  1:30, 3:30, and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Fee Charged.

    A Farmers Market will be held late afternoons Friday on Highway 14 near the community center and Hoyt Oil and Convenience Store.

Saturday July 15 events.

    Demonstrators: Ron Boje - blacksmith; Karl Schmidt - Dakota tinworks; Dan Cochran - leather works; Lynn Ehrke - Needlefelting; Norm Peterson - wood carving;  and Connie Peterson - spinning and weaving.

    Vendors: Beth Ann Rozck - doll houses, dolls; Rick and Lori Wakefield - hand turned pens, bottle stoppers; Marie Hutchinson - Country Drieds; LuAnn Hansen - jewelry; Julie Morris - pioneer bonnets, etc; Ron & Ginger Campbell - craft items.