LauraPalooza Press Kit (PDF)
About the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy & Research Association
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy & Research Association (LIWLRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder through research, events, awareness, and unwavering support for the museums and sites across the country that honor her, her family, and her series of Little House books.
LauraPalooza is the only academic and fan gathering of its kind, celebrating the literary, historical, and cultural impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and their families. It was first held in 2010 in Mankato, Minnesota, where it won the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Bring It Home Award. It returned to Mankato in 2012. The third LauraPalooza conference, Through Laura’s Eyes: Imagery, Illustrations, and Impressions from the Little House, took place July 2015 at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. The next LauraPalooza conference, Little Houses, Mighty Legacy: Celebrating 150 Years of Laura Ingalls Wilder, is slated for 12-14 July 2017 at University Plaza Hotel, Springfield, Missouri.
LauraPalooza In The News
Print and TV
The New York Times’ 2017 Anniversary Calendar mentions LauraPalooza 2017
The Washington Post talks about LauraPalooza 2017 in its 150th anniversary roundup
A story on the science of Little House in Smithsonian mentions LauraPalooza
LauraPalooza is mentioned in this Associated Press story about Pioneer Girl, printed in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times.
Mankato Free Press interviews attendees at LauraPalooza 2010
LauraPalooza! Fans and scholars of Laura Ingalls Wilder will gather in Mankato this summer to study all things Half-Pint
PBS NewsHour talks to Pioneer Girl editor Pamela Smith Hill in December 2014.
LIWLRA board member Connie Neumann joins Dean Butler, Karen Grassle, and Pamela Smith Hill on WUBR’s On Point radio show.
Co-chair of LauraPalooza 2015, meteorologist Barb Boustead, talks to Michigan Public Radio about weather around the little houses.
The Wilder Life author Wendy McClure recounts LauraPalooza 2010.
The Heroine’s Bookshelf author, Erin Blakemore, shares 5 things she learned at LauraPalooza 2010.
[coming up] LauraPalooza 2017: Little Houses, Mighty Legacy
July 12-14, 2017, in Springfield, Missouri
Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy Award will be presented to Jean Coday. Featured guests include LIW biographer William Anderson leading panels of citizens and acquaintances of the Wilder family in Mansfield, Friendly Family LLC CEO Trip Friendly, Libertarians on the Prairie author Christine Woodside, Pioneer Girl editor Pamela Smith Hill, Library of America collection editor Caroline Fraser, horticulturalist author Marta McDowell, and several recurring fan favorites. The conference concludes with a guided tour of sites around Mansfield, MO.
LauraPalooza 2015: Through Laura’s Eyes
July 16-18, 2015, in Brookings, South Dakota
Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy Award presented to biographer John Miller of Brookings, South Dakota, and Sally House of New York. Featured guests included LIW biographer William Anderson, Pioneer Girleditor Pamela Smith Hill, author Melanie Fishbane, Dr. Beth Tarini, Japanese translator Yumiko Tamiguchi, and a lively panel that included author Erin Blakemore, author Sandra Hume, and Eddie Higgins. The conference concluded with a guided tour of sites around De Smet, South Dakota.
LauraPalooza 2012: What Would Laura Do?
July 12-14, 2012 in Mankato, Minnesota
Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy Award presented to Barbara Walker and Shirley Knakmuhs. Featured guests included LIW biographer William Anderson, Alison “Nellie Oleson” Arngrim, The Wilder Life author Wendy McClure, Dean “Almanzo Wilder” Butler, and Dale Cockrell of Pa’s Fiddle Recordings.
LauraPalooza 2010: Legacies
July 15-17, 2010 in Mankato, Minnesota
Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy Award presented to LIW biographer William Anderson. Featured guests included Anderson, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little Town author John Miller, Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life author Pamela Smith Hill, best-selling novelist Wendy Corsi Staub, and Dean “Almanzo Wilder” Butler and his documentary, Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is LauraPalooza?
LauraPalooza is the only academic and fan gathering of its kind, celebrating the literary, historical, and cultural impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and their families. It was first held in 2010 in Mankato, Minnesota, where it won the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Bring It Home Award. It returned to Mankato in 2012. The third LauraPalooza conference, was held July 16-17, 2015 at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.
The next LauraPalooza conference will be held 12-14 July 2017 at University Plaza Hotel, Springfield, Missouri, with the theme: Little Houses, Mighty Legacy: Celebrating 150 Years of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Who else does conferences like this?
Nobody. That’s why we started it.
Who runs the conference?
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association and its volunteers. For LauraPalooza 2017, co-chairs are Barb Mayes Boustead and Karen Pearce.
Is the conference always in the same place?
No. The first two (2010, 2012) were in Mankato, Minnesota, and the third (2015) moved to Brookings, South Dakota. The next conference will be 12-14 July 2017, in Springfield, Missouri.
How often does LauraPalooza happen?
There was a three-year gap between the second and third conferences, but from now on it will happen every two years.
What’s with that weird name?
The conference combines academic and research-oriented topics with hands-on activities and sociable. “LauraPalooza” captures the festive atmosphere of this group of scholars and enthusiasts.