Hill Cumorah Pageant Returns for 80th Year

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Hill Cumorah Pageant Returns for 80th Year

Hill Cumorah, Palmyra

Hill Cumorah Pageant, Palmyra, NY

What other Western New York event features a free performance with hundreds of performers and amazing outdoor special effects? That’s right – the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant, the oldest and largest outdoor theatrical productions in America, is back in its 80th year of production.

A Long and Colorful History

The first Hill Cumorah Pageant featured a handful of performers in rented costumes using car headlights as spotlights. A lot has changed as the pageant, now a Western New York tradition, celebrates its 80th birthday. With a water features, explosions, earthquakes and balls of fire, the Hill Cumorah Pageant is not your average summer event. It’s a must-see, free event that appeals to all ages.

“I hear from people who’ve said they’ve always wanted to go but never have,” said Neil Pitts, pageant president. “It’s a wonderful family experience. We’d like people to come and experience the grandeur of the performance and have special feelings their hearts as they watch these scenes from the Bible and Book of Mormon. We want people to walk away with a sense that this was an awesome experience!”

Performances Begin July 14

The pageant kicks off its week of performances Fri., July 14 at dusk. The pageant, which is free and family-friendly, is something of a theatrical miracle. More than 750 volunteers are cast into 1,200 roles within hours of arriving.  After just one week of rigorous rehearsals, the show opens.  Volunteers in the performance and on staff come to Western New York at their own expense from around the world. They do not come to Palmyra just to practice their sword fighting skills and learn dances, or to wear costumes and wigs.  For these people, this is a time of spiritual renewal in the cradle of their faith. In addition to rehearsals, the cast also squeezes in more than 1,800 hours of volunteer service in Wayne, Ontario and Monroe counties.

Chamber Member Presents Palmyra Pageant

The Pageant is presented annually by Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce member The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Performances by the all-volunteer cast are July 14-15 and 18-22 and begin nightly at 9 p.m. There is seating for more than 7,000 guests. Visitors this year will also be able to don pageant costumes for photo booth pictures. Food is provided on-site by local service groups. Food tents open at 5 p.m. The Hill Cumorah is located on Highway 21, two miles north of Interstate 90, Exit 43. Parking and admission are free.  Headsets are provided for Spanish translation, and American Sign Language interpretation is provided.

For more information about the Hill Cumorah Pageant, call 315-597-5851, go to  www.hillcumorah.org or find us on Facebook under “Hill Cumorah Pageant.”

 

 

 


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Face to Face

Face to Face

In the news this last weekend, Palmyra, New York, was the home for a Face to Face with Youth Discussion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce member).  Broadcast live from the Smith Farm in Palmyra, New York, this one-of-a-kind event is estimated to have an audience of over 1.5 million viewers.  While live feeds joined two other groups – one in England, and the other in South Africa – it was streamed on social media.

copyright 2017 db walton

Youth Co-hosts wave to youth in South Africa (photo courtesy photography by db walton llc)

Several youth in the Palmyra area participated in the event.  Palmyra’s very own Katelyn Jones (Pal-Mac High School) played piano for a special musical number.  Furthermore, other participants came from surrounding areas like Rochester, Ithaca, Buffalo and more.  This was a program for youth, by the youth.

copyright 2017 db walton

Pal-Mac Student Katelyn Jones sneaks a cookie after the broadcast.

Palmyra’s Impact

In a post-production interview, President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland acknowledged how grateful they are to the residents and people of Palmyra.  In their acknowledgement of church members coming from all over the world to visit Palmyra, they said Palmyra was a type of Mecca for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They expressed their appreciation for hospitality shown by the good citizens of Palmyra.

To understand Palmyra’s roll in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one can visit http://history.lds.org.  Virtual tours of these sites are found on this site.  (A special note:  Many of the photographs provided on this site come from Palmyra’s own D. Brent Walton, CPP, Cr.Photog. owner of photography by db walton llc.)

Summary

In conclusion, this one-of-a-kind event is never to be repeated. Seen all over the world, our tiny Village of Palmyra had its impact last weekend.  Most of all, the dignitaries from Salt Lake City, Utah, gave public thanks to our tiny village.

The full broadcast can be seen here (click here).

A special News Report by KSL TV, Salt Lake City, is viewed here.  In this broadcast they show the Palmyra Pharmacy.

And, here’s one that explains the event…