Kenton Easter Pageant

By Norma Gene Young

Each Easter weekend. area residents act out the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, from scripts written by local church people.  The pageants began in 1952, with the pastors of the Methodist and Baptist Churches of Kenton directing the services.

The first two years of the performances were conducted solely by residents of the immediate vicinity.  In 1954 singers from Boise City, Clayton, Felt, Springfield, Keyes, and Campo made up the choir and filled some of the speaking parts, and as the years went by, impressive additions were made in the script and background music, which added to the reverance of the productions.

The old foot powered Epworth reed organ (with several keys missing and the organist using a bench-high rock for a seat) was replaced with an electric Hammond organ, and REA lines were extended for the instrument and the public address system.  Effective lighting was built at the base of the hill for the choir, organ and organist, directors and equipment, which, since they were able to see the action from that vantage point, enabled them to improve the timing of the performances.

Easter Pageant

For the past few years the tableaux have been presented at sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise Easter Sunday.  The Saturday performance portrays the betrayal, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  The closing scene, timed to occur as the sun drops behind the western hills, shows Christ hanging on the cross between two thieves.   Sunday morning's story is the glorious story of the Ascension.

The colorful, aunthentic costumes of the cast add to the impressive performances, as does the terrain, which is said to be much like that of the Holy Land.   The pageant grounds are on privately owned property.