For our date night Saturday night, David and I decided to attend the Easter Pageant at the Holy City of the Wichitas. Neither of us had been.

About the Pageant

This was the 89th year for the The Holy City of the Wichitas Easter Pageant. It is truly a treasure of Southwest Oklahoma.

In the beginning, the pageant was known as the Sunrise Easter Pageant. It began late in the evening and was timed to end at dawn. David told me back then it was pretty rowdy. In 1985 the time was changed to start at midnight and end at 4 a.m. The change was thought to increase attendance by getting the cast home earlier. In 1986, the time was again moved to begin at 9 p.m. on Easter evening.

In all pageants, a live baby portrays Baby Jesus. All races and religions are encouraged to help bring the pageant to life. The half-mile stage area and many costume changes make it necessary for more than one person to portray the same character.

The voices of the characters come from the reading cast. Their speaking gives life to the pantomiming actors. Costumes set the stage from colorful shoppers to the beautiful robes of the Roman soldiers and their brightly clad horses.

Things to Bring

We packed a cooler with sandwiches, snacks and water. We brought lawn chairs, blankets and jackets. David didn't think we would need the blankets as it was almost 70 degrees when we arrived. By the time the sun set and a breeze started out of the south we were both wrapped in blankets with our coats on. Although the event is free they do ask for a small donation.

Lesson's Learned

My biggest lesson that I learned from our first attendance is to walk the paved road  to the site of the play versus trying to walk on the hill. There are many obstacles including prickly pear and gopher holes, it's not an easy trek. On the way out we took the paved road down to the car. It was a much easier walk.

I took my camera but forgot my tripod. I tried to capture some of the stages of the play. I tried to capture the crucifixion but it was too dark and I couldn't hold my camera still enough. They aren't the best quality but I hope you get a feel for the amount of time and the number of people it takes to put this FREE event on every year.

The pageant is always the two Saturday's before Easter and they are always looking for more volunteers for the cast.

For more information on the Holy City's programs and volunteer opportunities, please call (580) 429-3361 or write to the Holy City, P.O. Box 2003, Lawton, OK 73502.

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