WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Hill Cumorah Pageant won't be back for a final performance this year

Mar 10, 2021
Originally published on March 9, 2021 5:45 pm

The Hill Cumorah Pageant in Ontario County will not be back again.

The pageant, which was slated to end its 83rd year last year, was postponed for a final season to take place this July.

But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced Tuesday that due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pageant has been canceled and will not be held in the future.

Pageant president Neil Pitts said that the event has had a long and successful run, but the world is in a place today where the pageant cannot continue.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we don’t have the opportunity to continue to present the pageant,” said  Pitts. "But there will be many opportunities for people to come visit the historic sites. The spirit is still here, and they can still come and feel the spirit of the place.”

The pageant evolved from a small production using car headlights to light the stage to an event that in recent years had a cast of more than 900 people, volunteers from all over the world, to perform scenes from the Bible and Book of Mormon.

It attracted thousands of visitors each year for an event that usually spans several days in the town of Manchester.

In lieu of performances this July, the Mormon Church announced it will instead broadcast the 2019 pageant at its website. 

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