Nauvoo pageants return after three-year hiatus

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:05 AM CDT
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NAUVOO, Ill. (WGEM) - Nauvoo’s biggest tourist attraction is back in action.

COVID-19 forced a three-year cancellation of the Nauvoo and British pageants, making Tuesday night’s opening show the first performance since 2019.

The pageants tell the story of the beginning of the Mormon faith and what life in Nauvoo was like for the church’s early saints.

Organizers said the productions are a huge task involving roughly 1,000 people, including professional actors, volunteers, directors and many more.

They said they couldn’t be more excited to be able to once again share their stories with the world.

“I think everyone experienced the same thing when it came to COVID and that is that cooped up feeling, and so we think we are going to have a lot of people come this year,” said Nauvoo Mayor Jason Skog.

Skog said the city lives and dies by the number of tourists they’re able to bring in every year, and the pageants alone account for 40 to 60 percent of that figure.

He said COVID and the loss of the pageants made for tough times with both their hotel-motel tax and sales tax revenue going down.

But he said local businesses are busy once again and excited to welcome visitors back into their stores.

“Not just families but also tour groups, younger kids will come here for what is called a youth conferences or EFYs and they come here.”

The free performances runs through July 30 with the Nauvoo Pageant performances on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and the British Pageant performances every Wednesday and Friday.

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