Faron Wahl, Manager.
Extreme variance in weather is a phenomenon most of us native South Dakotans have come to expect, even embrace. But most would agree…. April 2018 has been quite the experience.
Our annual consignment auction is set for 10:00 am Saturday, May 5 as scheduled. Two weeks ago, such an event appeared out of season after more than twelve inches of snow was driven into seven-foot drifts around our grounds. Now auction items are rolling in as the grounds are greening up and looking much more spring-like. We continue to accept consignments for vehicles, farm equipment, industrial, and other quality items of the non-rummage sale sort. The hard cutoff for receiving all items will be 6:00 pm Friday.
For the opening of our season (the morning after the auction, May 6), everything is coming together. We’ll be ready for our guests – the camping families, school groups, vacationers traveling across South Dakota, concert-goers, and no doubt an extensive national Jamboree crowd. I can tell you these upcoming months promise to be colossal!
The Minneapolis Moline National Show folks will proudly represent our Jamboree feature this August. A great deal of buzz surrounding this show has been building for several months now.
Our historic Wentworth Hotel is getting a complete face-lift, a major project amounting to new exterior materials from the roof down. Our deep thanks to the Prairie Village Ladies Auxiliary for their generous partnership in this undertaking.
Continued efforts to grow our series of summer concerts in the Opera House won’t disappoint. We’ll bring back one of last summer’s acts based purely on customer demand – the 50’s Buddy Holly-sounding Holy Rocka Rollaz on June 16. They’ll be followed July 7 with our first-ever all female group – Divas Through the Decades – showcasing the hits of some of the great female performers from the 40’s through today. And on July 28, the Beatles tribute band Abbey Road will take our stage. These guys leave a person wondering how anyone can re-create a historic sound so accurately. All tickets go on sale opening day in the gift shop.
Our beloved carousel, its return delayed unexpectedly last season due to additional work needed, will once again grace our grounds as likely the only fully-operating, original example of these machines which traveled from town to town during the early twentieth century. The carousel is currently scheduled to arrive home during the final week of June, after which re-assembly and much additional setup work will begin. A July celebration, to be announced later, will welcome her home and back into daily use, as she re-assumes her role bringing history to life in a grand manner.
Additionally, our chapel car Emmanuel turns 125 years old in May. Of all our historic treasures, this gem is doubtlessly the most easily overlooked, with too many visitors passing by it completely unaware of its incredibly rich and unusual history. That’s going to change beginning this summer (details to follow).
And of course, we’ll still offer the usual course of events you’ve come to anticipate – the auction, pageant, bull ride, variety show, Railroad Days, car show (25th this year), and the pumpkin train. Somewhere in there we’ll squeeze in tons of family camping, new offerings in our gift shop, the unveiling of the official Prairie Village flag, and more.
This season is already packed with great stuff. We hope you’ll come out and join us!