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Planning a trip to Illinois this summer? Make time to see the Nauvoo and British pageants

‘We want people to know that the pageant is on. We are preparing for it and we hope people will come and see it,’ says Gary Boatright, operations manager for historic sites

Confusion has persisted among some Latter-day Saints about the future status of the Nauvoo and British pageants in Nauvoo, Illinois, after other pageants were discontinued during a worldwide pandemic.

To be clear, the Nauvoo and British pageants — the latter a modified version of the pageant performed every four years in Chorley, England — will continue on indefinitely, according to the Church History Department, in collaboration with the Priesthood and Family Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Last year was our first year back after the site closures during the pandemic, and we had some good crowds, but word hadn’t quite got out. I think there is still that lingering feeling that either it was canceled or it is still postponed or whatever the case,” said Gary Boatright, operations manager for historic sites in the Church History Department, of the Nauvoo Pageant.

“We want people to know that the pageant is on. We are preparing for it, and we hope people will come and see it.”

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Dates for Nauvoo and British pageants

This year the two pageants are scheduled to run from July 11 through Aug. 5 in Nauvoo, Illinois, according to nauvoopageant.org. Seating is abundant, and tickets are not required.

The Nauvoo Pageant explores the history of the Church in the city and how the Saints worked to build a temple. This year’s pageant chair and co-chair are Wayne and Kristine Larsen, of Centerville, Utah.

The British Pageant shares the experiences of the early members of the Church in the British Isles.

Nauvoo and British pageant family cast members enjoy time together during the pre-show activities in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Nauvoo and British pageant family cast members enjoy time together during the pre-show activities in Nauvoo, Illinois. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

How to apply for pageant participation

Individuals and families can apply to participate in the pageants as cast members or in a variety of volunteer staff positions, including work crew, costumes, food services, security and maintenance, medical staff and more.

“There are all kinds of ways to serve,” said Adele Parker, a product manager in the Priesthood and Family Department. “We are grateful for all the volunteers and welcome others who are interested to apply.”

Applications open annually each fall. While the deadline for 2023 has already expired, applicants are welcome to apply for 2024 starting this fall.

“It really is this huge event and we would love to have people reach out and volunteer,” Boatright said. “It is a great experience.”

Learn more about available positions and see a list of frequently asked questions at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Families participate in the British Pageant in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Families participate in the British Pageant in Nauvoo, Illinois. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The ‘full Nauvoo experience’

Boatright hopes individuals and families planning trips to Nauvoo for the pageant will also see and experience the other sites the Church has to offer, such as Historic Nauvoo, the Carthage Jail, along with other sites and activities. Learn more at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

“We hope they will take in the full Nauvoo experience,” he said. “Just experience Nauvoo for what it is.”

There is also a tangible power in gathering with others to learn about sacred Church historic sites, Parker said.

Other pageants still going

The pageants in Nauvoo are two of the four Church-sponsored productions that are still being performed.

The others include:

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British Pageant scheduled for this summer postponed to 2023

 

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