Final Season of Manti Pageant is Underway

Jun 13, 2019, 5:09 PM | Updated: 10:39 pm

MANTI, Utah – It’s opening night and the final run for the annual Manti pageant. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced last fall that the production of the pageant would end after this season.

Pageant officials estimate over the 400-plus performances dating back to 1967, about four million people have watched the pageant.

That is a staggering number when you consider just 3,000 people live in Manti. A volunteer effort each summer, by many in these local communities.

But as the pageant begins this year, the feeling is different knowing that in just 10 days the pageant will come to an end.

“It is mixed feelings and I can see us coming again next week to see another night of it, because it is so special,” said Kathie Giles, a resident of Fairview.

The pageant began as a one-time, one-night show, in July 1967 to honor the pioneers. Organizers later decided to make it an annual event and by 1970 it blossomed into an eight night production, attracting tens of thousands to this small town.

“So it is hard to believe when the pageant started I was 18 years old,” said Doug Barton, who set up the lights for that first show. He’s overseen the technical aspects of the pageant now for the past 50 years.

“There is a lot of excitement about this final season, but I think people are sad to see it go. It has changed a lot of lives, it has brought people closer together, especially families,” he added.

The pageant recounts early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with scenes portrayed from the Book of Mormon and the story of Mormon Pioneers, including those who settled the Sanpete Valley.

“I never thought it would end, I never dreamed I would be in it again,” said Manti resident Ken Olsen.  He was the first to portray General Mormon when the pageant moved to the temple hill in 1968.

His father Richard took on the role for the next 34 years. Now Olsen will once again play the part of Mormon in this final season.

“It has not just been a Manti thing, it is just amazing to see how many people continue to come and I know will come this year,” he added.

Even though many people have seen the pageant over the years, organizers are preparing to accommodate above average crowds this year, setting up more than 15,000 chairs, for those who want to enjoy the pageant for the last time.

The pageant begins each evening at 9:15 p.m. on temple hill in Manti. No tickets are required, but come early for the best seating. It will run through next

Saturday June 22nd, except for Sunday and Monday.

RELATED LINK: http://mantipageant.org/


KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Salt Lake City. (KS...
Matt Rascon

KSL+ The growing impact of digital evidence

One year after the shooting death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe, prosecutors say the amount of digital evidence they have to go through is dragging out the case against his accused killer.
15 hours ago
The 35th Annual Senior Games take place in St. George through October 15....
Ayanna Likens

11,000 register for Senior Games in St. George

Seniors from all over the world have traveled to Southern Utah to play in the 35thannual Huntsman Senior Games.
15 hours ago
(FILE) Power lines in South Jordan....
Eliza Pace

Power outage impacts over 9,000 in Orem

Many Orem residents were without power Thursday afternoon.
15 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Mother of 5-year-old boy hit by truck says she has no bad feelings for driver

The mother of a 5-year-old boy hit by a truck spoke with KSL TV about the crash. 
15 hours ago
FILE: Bountiful Police (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Eliza Pace

13-year-old hit by car in crosswalk

A 13-year-old boy was hit by a car as he entered a crosswalk near 500 E. 2600 South in Bountiful around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
15 hours ago
FILE: Kathy Dalton takes time to teach her kids about nature while they explore the outdoors. (Sour...
Ashley Moser

Nature can help your little ones learn how to count

Preschool directors for the Stokes Nature Center say one of the best and easiest ways to teach your little ones how to count is by going on a walk.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Final Season of Manti Pageant is Underway