July 12, 2012
Hundreds of fans of Little House on the Prairie, and of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, will gather in Mankato tomorrow for the second annual LauraPalooza.
The event is the brain child of Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mass Media Professor Amy Lauters. The first event two years ago drew fans from as far away as Europe and Australia. Among this year’s featured speakers: actress, author and comedienne Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Olson on the TV show.
On KTOE’s Talk of the Town last month, Arngrim said she originally auditioned for the lead role of Laura, which eventually went to Melissa Gilbert.
While she enjoyed the opportunity to play a “bad girl,” Arungrim says people still tell her they resent how mean she was to Laura. She says actually she and Melissa Gilbert are great, real-life friends.
Arngrim will give a public performance on Friday at 7 p.m. at MSU’s Ostrander Auditorium. Other presenters at the LauraPalooza include Wilder biographer William Anderson.