This year marks the 51st season of the Mormon Miracle Pageant. In that time, millions of people have witnessed the pageant’s story unfold on the hill beneath the Manti Temple.
To commemorate the pageant’s 51st year in operation, we compiled a list of 51 fun pageant facts.
- The pageant debuted in 1967.
- The pageant was originally a relatively small 24th of July celebration for the South Sanpete LDS Stake.
- The first performance was held just west of the temple, at the Sanpete County fairgrounds.
- The pageant was moved close to its current location in 1968.
- The original story was written by Grace Johnson in the 1940s.
- BYU and BYU-Hawaii used Johnson’s story as a readers’ theater in the 1950s.
- A live choir provided music for the pageant for the first three years, from 1967-1969.
- A 25-35 piece orchestra also accompanied the pageant those early years.
- One of the noted musicians was violinist Richard Nibley, brother of Hugh Nibley. He is also heard on the soundtrack.
- Grace Johnson’s story was adapted to true pageant form in 1970 by Macksene Rux.
- Macksene Rux directed from 1970 to 1989.
- The pageant has had only six directors.
- The recorded soundtrack was produced that same year by Bonneville International in Salt Lake City.
- Much of the original recording is still in use today.
- Elder M. Russell Ballard’s father, Elder Melvin R. Ballard, is the recorded voice of the prophet Mormon.