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The Long Winter

Theater on the Prairie × De Smet, South Dakota

July 10, 11, 12 - 17, 18, 18 - 24, 25, 26



The Long Winter


July 10, 11, 12

July 17, 18, 19

July 24, 25, 26

Gates open at 6pm
Performance begins at 8pm


$12 - Adults
$8 - 6-12 years old
5 and under free

Advance purchase of tickets is not necessary.  All seating is general admission.  The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant is held outdoors.  There is plenty of seating and we have never sold out.   You are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets.  It is also wise to bring a jacket or sweatshirt as the prairie evenings can be cool.  

Planning Your Visit to De Smet

We are glad you're considering coming to De Smet for the performance.  There are other 'Laura' sites to visit in De Smet and we have found that visitors often spend an entire day in De Smet.  Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have questions about all there is to do and see in town.  A list of attraction, lodging, and dining information is below.

800-776-3594  or 800-880-3383

Be sure to visit the helpful City of De Smet website when planning your trip.



Other Area Lodging

  • Hometown Motel - 605-625-5226: located in Willow Lake, SD

  • Watercrest Motel - 605-772-4700; located in Howard, SD

  • Arlington Inn - 605-983-4609; located in Arlington, SD

  • Prairie Retreat B&B - 605-625-5085; located near Bryant, SD



  • Oxbow Restaurant - 800-854-9988

  • Ward's Store and Bakery - 605-854-3688

  • Kingsbury County Country Club Restaurant - 605-854-3134

  • Dairy Queen - 605-854-9000

  • Subway - 605-854-9009

  • Cowboy Country Store - 605-854-3553

  • The Main Stop - 605-854-3200

  • Maynard's Grocery - 605-854-3432

  • Wheatie's Sports Bar - 605-854-3715

  • Dugout Lounge - 605-854-9171

Pageant History

1951   Families gathered around their radios to listen to the Hallmark Playhouse presentation of "The Long Winter."

1955   After receiving permission from Hallmark Playhouse to use its script, local actors performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium at no charge to the public.

1968   As part of the summer arts festival, local actors once again performed "The Long Winter" in the high school auditorium. People poured in, and extra chairs were brought in from the Lutheran Church, and still more people continued to come in.

1971   Encouraged by the overwhelming response to the 1968 production, a group of local volunteers developed plans for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, an outdoors family drama to celebrate the life and writings of our home town author. Several local civic organizations-- the Kiwanis, Jaycees, and Chamber of Commerce assisted in the production.

1973   The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society was founded, a non-profit organization committed to the preservation of Laura's legacy.

1974   The LIW Pageant Society purchased thirty acres of land to become the pageant's permanent home. This beautiful section of land is nestled between the Ingalls Homestead, the big slough, and Silver Lake.

Over the years, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant has become a local tradition. Each summer more than a hundred volunteers combine their talents to present a family-friendly drama based on the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder. People from all over the world gather together on the beautiful South Dakota prairie and step back into history to a time when the West was just opening up to a wave of pioneering men and women. It is our goal to preserve--through drama--the family values and pioneering spirit of the Ingalls family.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant thrives because of the generous time and talent of many individuals. If you are interested in getting involved, we’d love to have you help.

Director Position

We are currently accepting applications for a director, or a team of directors, for our 2020 production of The Long Winter. Applications will be accepted until October 21, 2019. They may be mailed to PO Box 154, De Smet, SD 57231 or remitted via email desmetpageant [@]

Actors & Technical Crew

We are always on the look out for actors and technical help. Auditions are generally held in late April or early May. We place announcements here, on our website, via our social media channels, and in regional newspapers and on radio stations. Our technical crew