The Pageants in Nauvoo—2020

  • July 7 through August 1, 2020
July 7 through August 1, 2020

Scenes from the pageants in Nauvoo depict the growth of the Church in Great Britain and Nauvoo, Illinois, in the U.S.

July 7–August 1, 2020
(excluding Sundays and Mondays)
Mulholland and Main
Nauvoo, IL 62354
Fair opens at 7:00 p.m.
Pageant begins at 8:30 p.m.
Free admission

Each summer, a cast and crew of more than 1,100 volunteers bring the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States and Great Britain to life in the pageants at Nauvoo, performed below the grounds of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.

The Nauvoo Pageant and the British Pageant, which are performed on alternate evenings except Sunday and Monday, feature scripts based on actual journals and historic records from the 1800s, as well as traditional and original music.

Before the featured pageant begins each night, members of the family cast host a variety of activities for visitors at the pageant site, including dancing, sack racing, pulling handcarts, stick pulling, log sawing, games, and crafts.

The Nauvoo Pageant and the British Pageant will continue to be held each year in Nauvoo. The British Pageant, under area leadership, also will be held every four years in Chorley, in Lancashire, England, on the grounds of the Preston England Temple. The next production will be in 2021.

Nauvoo Pageant

Performed every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from July 7 through August 1, 2020, the Nauvoo Pageant tells the story of the restored gospel, the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith, and the legacy of early Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, while celebrating universal themes of faith, family, and community.

Rob Abney portrays Joseph Smith speaking to the Saints at Nauvoo in the Nauvoo Pageant. Photo by Jill Franklin.

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple is highlighted during a performance of the Nauvoo Pageant. Photo by Kyle Franklin.

British Pageant

The Truth Will Prevail was first performed in Chorley, England, on the grounds of the Preston England Temple and began its run in the United States in 2014. Performances in Nauvoo are every Wednesday and Friday from July 8 to July 31, 2020.

This pageant tells the history of early Mormonism in the British Isles, depicting the struggles and triumphs of the British Saints. The faith, devotion, and sacrifice of 19th-century British Church members helped make possible the flourishing religious community that later was established in Nauvoo.

The pageant features seekers of truth and persecuted reformers such as William Tyndale, Ann Askew, and Hugh Latimer, who did much to lay the foundation of religious freedom.

In 1837, missionaries first landed in Liverpool to open the door of salvation to the British Isles. They traveled to Preston, arriving during elections. As they descended the coach, a banner was unfurled from a window above them, proclaiming, “Truth Will Prevail.” The missionaries immediately adopted this as the motto of their mission to England.

The first Mormon missionaries to Great Britain arrived during an election campaign and saw the slogan “Truth Will Prevail,” as portrayed in a scene from the 2017 British Pageant on Thursday, August 3, 2017. Photo by Simon D. Jones.

Other events

Guests may also enjoy historical vignettes in Old Nauvoo throughout the day and the 1840s Nauvoo Country Fair. The vignettes include a retelling of the early history of the Relief Society, readings from letters exchanged between Joseph and Emma Smith, an excerpt of the Prophet Joseph’s sermon at the funeral of his friend King Follett, and stories of the missionary experiences of some of the early Apostles of this dispensation.

At sundown on Sundays or on Thursday and Saturday mornings, guests can walk down the “Trail of Hope” toward the Mississippi River as pageant cast members and missionaries tell pioneer accounts of leaving their beloved city of Nauvoo behind.