Hill Cumorah Pageant to End in 2020

Palmyra, NY (October 27, 2018) –The famed Hill Cumorah Pageant will cease production after its 2020 season.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Oct. 27, 2018 the end or modification of several pageants produced by the Church, including its flagship pageant in Palmyra.  Mindful of a growing, world-wide church, Church leadership made the decision after an extensive review of all pageants. Leaders said they took under consideration how to reduce the burden of church member time commitments, cost, security, impact to church sites and more in their decision.

According to the Church’s official release, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing across the earth. As this occurs, local Church leaders and members are encouraged to focus on gospel learning in their homes and to participate in Sabbath worship and the Church’s supporting programs for children, youth, individuals and families. The goal of every activity in the Church should be to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to share His gospel message throughout the world. Local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate. Larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged. As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify or continue these productions.”

Pageant President Neil Pitts said the staff of the Hill Cumorah Pageant is supportive of the decision.

“We had a wonderful run,” Pitts said. “Our church has asked us to focus more on the family, and this is certainly in line with that desire.  We have had a wonderful 81 years and will focus on making the next two years an amazing experience for our cast, crew and audience.”

Pitts said right now, the focus of pageant officials is to communicate with regional and community partners and the pageant staff most affected by the announcement.

“We are sensitive to the fact that this will affect our wonderful community partners,”  Pitts said.  “We have been blessed by exceptional relationships with our friends in Manchester and Palmyra. We thank those communities for their years of generous support, and we will continue to work with them on future endeavors.”

The Hill Cumorah Pageant is staged annually in Manchester, NY by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its 81st season wrapped in July 2018 with around 25,000 people attending the pageant. The 2019 season opens Thurs., July 11.

The production started as a humble reenactment of the Book of Mormon and Bible by local missionaries on makeshift stages lit by car headlamps.  It has grown to be the largest outdoor theatrical event in North America and is a Western New York tradition attended by more than visitors from around the world. An all-volunteer cast of about 750 and 150 staff and technical crew work to stage the production annually. Local service groups in the Palmyra and Manchester areas provide concessions during the pageant, and it serves as those groups’ largest fund-raiser.

37 Replies to “Hill Cumorah Pageant to End in 2020”

  1. I, along with three lady friends, will be going to the Pageant on Friday and Saturday. We’re driving from Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Thursday and coming home on Sunday.
    This will be my first time to see the Pageant and I’m so looking forward to it.
    I know it will be fantastic!

      1. My 14 year old daughter would like to enter this pageant. She’s won locally in several small pageants. I think she’s ready for a larger, regional pageant. Does anyone know what the application fees are and how she can apply. There doesn’t seem to be much info about that here.

    1. Applications will be opened around the middle of August 2019 for the 2020 pageant. To apply, you will need to create an account at https://hcpageant.com/. Once they’ve opened applications, you will see a link there to create and submit your application. Make sure you review the participant agreement and requirements before applying.

    1. Wonderful spiritual experience for the entire family. They prefer families including children, so apply very good chance of being accepted. They do not provide lodging, but Palmyra town has a small Walmart, and there is camping nearby. There are numerous family church sites to visit, including the Grandin print shop with live period costume printing demonstrations. Apply, GO!

  2. How soon can we find out the dates for the pageant for the year (1920)? How do we get tickets and can we get them for the dress rehearsal?

    1. The 2020 pageant dates have already been announced on the “pageant” page. Look there for all your pageant needs. No tickets needed. Dates for the Dress rehearsals are not yet know and probably won’t be published until a few days before. Since those are dress rehearsals, they’re not official nights and need to be flexible.

    1. Hiya Mike,
      Still a go. The presidency is in daily contact with SLC to get/receive updates.

      See you this summer.

  3. What is the status of the pageant for this summer in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Is there a target date for making a decision on whether it will still be performed

  4. I know this was answered above but wondered if anything has changed since March. Has there been any word on whether the pageant will happen in 2020 due to the virus?

  5. Is it too late for my son to apply to participate in the 2021 work crew cast?
    This is a travesty that’s it’s shutting down. This outdoor pageant was among likely the strongest faith building experience my friends and myself ever had in the church.

  6. Who ever made decision to cancel outdoor pageants may want to consider the importance of Performing Arts and try “to get” that the IMPACT the messages make in this sort of sharing ( from Hill Cumorah Pageant) with community have far greater impact than any other single means. I would strongly suggest you don’t dissolve the Hill Cumorah Pageant. This reflects the roots of Church history when participants get to experience visiting the hill Cumorah and sacred grove. Taking this away would be a big mistake. Members need to speak up and share the truth with the impact it’s made. Things like this that seem small, are the very things with the greatest impact! My son Zackery also needs the chance to participate in work crew.. please contact me with details as they can’t be found online.

  7. its really sad to see it come to an end. never got a chance to see the one in Palmyra. have seen the one in Manti a few times. you always have a good feeling when seeing the truth

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