51 Fun Facts about the Mormon Miracle Pageant

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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.

  1. The pageant debuted in 1967.
  2. The pageant was originally a relatively small 24th of July celebration for the South Sanpete LDS Stake.
  3. The first performance was held just west of the temple, at the Sanpete County fairgrounds.
  4. The pageant was moved close to its current location in 1968.
  5. The original story was written by Grace Johnson in the 1940s.
  6. BYU and BYU-Hawaii used Johnson’s story as a readers’ theater in the 1950s.
  7. A live choir provided music for the pageant for the first three years, from 1967-1969.
  8. A 25-35 piece orchestra also accompanied the pageant those early years.
  9. One of the noted musicians was violinist Richard Nibley, brother of Hugh Nibley. He is also heard on the soundtrack.
  10. Grace Johnson’s story was adapted to true pageant form in 1970 by Macksene Rux.
  11. Macksene Rux directed from 1970 to 1989.
  12. The pageant has had only six directors.
  13. The recorded soundtrack was produced that same year by Bonneville International in Salt Lake City.
  14. Much of the original recording is still in use today.
  15. Elder M. Russell Ballard’s father, Elder Melvin R. Ballard, is the recorded voice of the prophet Mormon.
  16. Continue reading

5 Things to Do in the Manti Area

Manti Temple - Evening

With the first weekend of the Mormon Miracle Pageant rapidly approaching, thousands of pageant-goers will flock to Manti to witness one of America’s largest outdoor productions.

As many visitors travel long distances to witness the pageant, it is common to spend a full day (or more) in the Manti area. As such, we compiled a list of popular activities and places to visit in the Sanpete County area.

Palisade State Park

For those who want to soak up some sun and enjoy good weather, Palisade is the place to go. Located just nine miles south of the temple, the state park in Sterling offers an 18-hole golf course and a lake suitable for swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boats. In addition, hiking and biking trails are prominent around the lake.

If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay for a night, there is tent, RV, and cabin camping available as well.

Maple Canyon

World-class rock climbing and hiking can be found in Maple Canyon, a 25-mile drive from Manti (and just a brief detour off of Highway 89, if coming from the north). Over 40 cliffs can be found dispersed throughout the canyon, ranging between 30 and 300 feet in height. For those who are experienced climbers, over 140 bolted climbing routes can be found (grades 5.4-5.14).

Camping sites are available for tents.Continue reading