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Monday, July 18, 2016

Newsy Bits: The Hill Cumorah Pageant 2016

When we learned that Son #1 and his family were going to participate in the Hill Cumorah Pageant this summer, we were elated.  We had not been to The Pageant together since our marriage trip 43 years ago.  We expected there were many changes...and there were!  It was even more spectacular than we remembered.

What The Hill Cumorah Pageant is:  a giant outdoor pageant on a lovely hillside in western New York farm country.  It is the story of  parts of The Book of Mormon as well as the coming forth of The Book of Mormon.  It tells of a family who came to the American continent 600 years before the birth of Christ.  They live in the Promised Land through ups and downs eventually enjoying the visit of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, to this continent.  It concludes with the Angel Moroni delivering golden plates to the young Joseph Smith which he later translates by the gift and power of God to become The Book of Mormon.

The seven stages with some light towers visible.

There are seven stages set up on The Hill with giant lighting towers on each side.  Six thousand chairs are set up in the meadow below the stages. Glorious music is played over loud-speakers as Pageant-goers visit with one another, eat picnic supper they had brought with them or which they purchased from local charitable vendors whose major annual fundraiser this is as many thousand people attend over the seven-night performances.
Panorama attempt...

Nimble young lighting technicians ascend the scrawny ladders secured with cables around their bodies shortly before dusk begins.

As the hymn, "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning" plays over the sound system, all 750 costumed actors who have been visiting with the audience for 90 minutes find their way to the central aisles and then, at a signal,  they all forge forward.  Very impressive to see them as they move slowly then more rapidly as they approach the staging area to take their places behind the scenes or on the stage.  An opening prayer, and then The Pageant begins.  An hour and a half later we all wonder where the time went as the lights go up so Pageant-goers can safely return to their cars in the fields beyond.

It was worth the 7-hours-each-way trip, especially when we were able to visit with this costumed lot:
One of King Noah's guards plus dancers in different scenes.
The Hill Cumorah Pageant has been produced annually since the 1930's for seven nights in July, Friday, Saturday, then Tuesday through Saturday of the next week.  A wonderful family activity if you have the time for the travel.


  1. Lovely report! So glad you could see it again after all those years. I was in it as a student at BYU and again with our children many years later. I'm sure Laura and Janus and clan had a marvelous time.

  2. Thanks for writing! Yes, I am pretty sure they were having the time of their lives. The smiles on their faces were wondrous to behold.


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