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Hill Cumorah Pageant final season canceled; Nauvoo Pageant postponed

Photo credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the planned final season of the Hill Cumorah Pageant will be canceled in 2021, with a broadcast of the 2019 pageant taking the place of its final bow. 

In a news release, the church said the broadcast of the 2019 Hill Cumorah Pageant would honor the contribution of the “tens of thousands of volunteer participants” who made the pageant possible annually. 

In addition, the Nauvoo Pageant’s 2021 season is canceled, but church officials said the show would go on in 2022. 

2019 Hill Cumorah Pageant history and significance 

Church officials said the broadcast of the 2019 Hill Cumorah Pageant will be available online starting July 9, 2021. In addition to the English performance, viewers can access dubs in Spanish and Portuguese. 

The hill, located in New York’s Ontario County, holds religious significance for Latter-day Saints. Members of the faith believe the angel Moroni met annually with church founder Joseph Smith on the hill between 1823 and 1827, before providing him the golden plates from which he would translate the Book of Mormon. 

The church purchased the land in a series of transactions around a hundred years later. In 1928, Latter-day Saints presented the first pageant based on Book of Mormon events around three miles away. Then in 1936, members staged a pageant at the foot of the hill; the next year, the performers took the hillside while the audience sat at the bottom, and it began to resemble what it would later become. 

Eventually, the annual performances featured a cast and crew of nearly a thousand volunteers, complete with special effects. 

Nauvoo Pageant postponed

The next performance of the Nauvoo Pageant will now take place July 5 – 30, 2022. 

Like its cousin at the Hill Cumorah, the Nauvoo Pageant features an all-volunteer cast and crew. 

The Nauvoo Pageant tells the story of early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those pioneers fled persecution for their beliefs in 1839 to establish the community of Nauvoo, Illinois. It relies on journals and other historical records from the period for its script.

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