What is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association?

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association is a singular nonprofit organization with a worldwide membership dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of research surrounding Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, the Little House home sites/museums, and their legacies. The LIWLRA acts as a major sponsor for academic conferences and helps support the work of the homesites and of independent researchers.

What is LauraPalooza?
LauraPalooza is the only academic and fan gathering of its kind, celebrating the literary, cultural, and historical impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House series of books. It was first held in 2010 in Mankato, Minnesota, then again two years later, also in Mankato. The third LauraPalooza conference was held in Brookings, South Dakota in 2015.

LauraPalooza 2017, Little Houses, Mighty Legacy: 150 Years of Laura Ingalls Wilder is the fourth conference of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. It will be held July 12-14, 2017 at University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Missouri.

Who else does conferences like this?
Nobody. That’s why we started.

Who runs the conference?
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association and volunteers therein.

Is the conference always in the same place?
No. The first two (2010, 2012) were in Mankato, Minnesota, and the third (2015) was in Brookings, South Dakota.

How often does LauraPalooza happen?
There was a three-year gap between the second and third conferences, but it’s now on an every-other-year schedule.

What’s with that weird name?
Don’t you love it? Some people don’t, actually, and we get that. The conference combines academic and research-oriented topics with hands-on activities and sociables. The name “LauraPalooza” captures the festive atmosphere of this group of scholars and enthusiasts.


The following questions pertain to LauraPalooza 2017 specifically. 


What’s the deadline to register?
The deadline for registration is June 30, 2017. However, we recommend registering by June 5 to ensure you have all printed conference materials and a reservation for the catered lunches. After June 5, registration materials and meals will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

What is the cancellation policy?
Here’s the cancellation policy for LauraPalooza 2017:  All registration fees are non-refundable.  However, in the event that you cannot attend, you may transfer your registration to another potential attendee.  Register by June 5 to be guaranteed meals and receipt of conference materials. 

What is the registration fee for LauraPalooza 2017?
You will find all of the detailed pricing on the Registration page when registration opens.

I can’t make both days. Are day passes available?
Yes, day passes will be available for. You’ll find pricing on the Registration page when registration opens.

What is the Authors’ and Artists’ reception?
The Authors’ and Artists’ Reception is an event that takes place on the evening of the first day of the conference. Conference attendees can get books signed by authors or visit with the authors and artists featured at the conference. Some may have their books available for purchase on site, but of course, please feel free to bring copies that you have purchased in advance!

Do you offer group discounts?
Group discounts are not offered.

What is included in the bus trip to Mansfield?
When the information is available you will find it on the Mansfield Trip page.

I have a spouse who wants to come but not attend the conference. What are the options?
Spouses can purchase tickets for conference lunches and/or bus trip to Mansfield separately.

What do I do if I need a ride?
We encourage you to join the Beyond Little House Facebook page and the LauraPalooza (next conference 2017) Facebook page to look for ride sharing and carpooling candidates. Otherwise, rental cars from the airport will be the best option to get from the airport to the conference site. Plan ahead!

What is the address of the conference location?
University Plaza Hotel
333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Springfield, MO 65806
(417) 864-7333

What’s included in the registration fee?
The registration fee includes the Tuesday-evening opening reception, all panels and presentations, two lunches, and admission to the Authors’ and Artists’ Reception on Thursday evening.

Do you have to be approved to attend the conference?
LauraPalooza is open to anyone who wants to attend, from teens on up.

Do you have to be a certain age to attend the conference?
There is no official age minimum, though the academic nature dictates that it is not suitable for kids. Still, mature teenagers who are ardent fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will probably enjoy it.

Are young children allowed at LauraPalooza? 
We are no longer able to have Camp Laura as we did in 2012. Teens with a sincere interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder are welcome to register and attend the conference.

Do you offer vendor tables at the conference?
Yes, we offer vendor tables for $50. More details are on the Vendors page.

Is there a special rate for children?
We welcome children to come, but we do expect those children who do come to be regular attendees of the conference, so normal rates apply. No special programs or track for children are offered this time. Any children attendees also get full privileges that a regular attendee would have (place to sit, full meals, etc.).