A free outdoor musical celebration of the greatest story ever told!

This special Mesa tradition will be back this spring with a new set, new script, and new music. The beautiful Easter message remains the same. We know He lives!

No Tickets or Reservations Needed

Come early to sit on some of the 9,500+ chairs provided. Attendees are also encouraged to attend during the first week of performances to avoid the generally larger crowds closer to Easter weekend. Each night’s show begins at 8 p.m.

The outdoor area is located on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 101 S. LeSueur in downtown Mesa.

Attendees are encouraged to use Valley Metro Light Rail, which has a stop at Mesa Drive/Main Street, within a short walking distance of the venue.

Follow the event on social media: #mesaeasterpageant #mesaeasterpageant2022 #greateststory

MEDIA: To schedule interviews, email Jill Adair
at [email protected]

Pageant Dates:

8-9:15 p.m. each evening

April 6-9, 2022

English, American Sign Language, Spanish headphones

April 12-16, 2022

English, Spanish headphones

Celebrate Easter at the Mesa Temple!  As part of your Easter activities, come visit in person and enjoy the beautiful array of spring flowers on the Mesa Temple grounds.

FAQS

When is it?

April 6-9, 12-16

Can I come early?

Yes, you’re welcome to come early and secure a seat.

Is there a dress rehearsal I can attend?

The dress rehearsal on April 5 is open to the public. Spectators at the dress rehearsal should expect pauses in the performance and distractions from support operations (such as lighting, sound tests, and staff.) The entire pageant may not be rehearsed in full sequence and start time(s) will vary significantly.

Will there be some Spanish translation offered through headphones? Which nights? How many are available?

Yes, there are about 400 headphone sets available every night, and Spanish translation will be available on all nights.

Will there be places for us to bring our own blanket to sit on the grass?

There is very limited seating on the grass for blankets, but it is far from the stage.

Is there disability seating?

The middle concrete aisle allows for some wheelchairs to be located next to the existing rows of seating. These will be available on a first-come/first-served basis.

Can we have food on the temple grounds?

Yes, but we ask that guests be respectful of Temple grounds and not leave trash or
debris behind them. Trash receptacles will be available at various locations around the pageant site.

Can I still audition for the cast?

Please check the website at the end of summer for audition dates for the 2023 Pageant.

Is the temple open for endowment sessions during the weeks of the pageant?

Yes, but the Temple will close early during the days of the pageant. Please check the appointment website for exact times.

What time does it start?

8 p.m. each evening. The performance lasts about 75 minutes.

Where is it presented?

On the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 101 S. LeSueur in downtown Mesa.

Is there a Spanish night?

All of the performances will be in English this year as there was not time to record the Spanish lyrics and speaking parts on a soundtrack with everything being new, but pageant leaders look forward to the Spanish translation being done for next year’s production. Translation headsets will be available for Spanish speakers (about 400 per night) for live translation of the narration.

Do I need tickets/reservations?

No, tickets/reservations are not necessary, but we recommend coming early to secure one of the 9,500 seats available. Also, be aware that typically the first week has more available seating than the second week.

Is there disability parking?

Yes. There will be parking for persons with disabilities located in the South Parking lot of the Temple, in the South East section of the lot.

Is there typically a less busy time to attend the pageant such as the dress rehearsal or mid-week?

The dress rehearsal on April 5 is open to the public. Spectators at the dress rehearsal should expect pauses in the performance and distractions from support operations (such as lighting, sound tests, and staff.) The entire pageant may not be rehearsed in full sequence and start time(s) will vary significantly.

During the scheduled nights of the pageant, traditionally, the first week has more available seating than the second week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night performances are typically less crowded. Wednesdays are often heavily attended by church youth groups.

I have difficulty walking and climbing stairs (I ambulate with a cane). Will there be seating areas to accommodate those with such limitations?

There are seats near the bottoms of the ramps, but no reserved seating.

Do you have information on hotels which are close to the temple?

We do not endorse any particular hotels but there are several lodging options within walking distance of the Temple.

What nights will American Sign Language (ASL) be provided?

April 6 – 9 ASL will be provided.

Where should I park?

Parking will be available in the City’s Park and Ride lot at the northeast corner of Mesa Drive and Main Street just north of the Mesa Temple Visitors Center. We also strongly encourage travel to the Pageant via Valley Metro’s Light Rail System. Light rail park and ride locations are found at Gilbert and Main, Dobson and Main and other locations along the Light Rail route. A Light Rail stop is located just west of the Mesa Temple grounds near the corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive.  Finally, parking is available on surface streets near the temple, but we invite guests to please respect “No parking” signs and residential driveways.

Can I save seats?

We are asking everyone who attends to come early if they want a good seat. We ask
that no seats be reserved for people who are not yet in attendance. The practice of one person saving multiple seats by placing items such as blankets on the chairs is discouraged.

Is there stroller parking?

Yes, on the Southwest and Southeast corners.

Will restrooms be provided?

Yes. Portable restroom will be located on the west side of the temple grounds, near the Visitor’s Center. Only handicapped restrooms will be provided inside the Visitors’ Center.

Is there wheelchair parking?

Yes. There will be parking for persons with disabilities located in the South Parking lot of the Temple, in the South East section of the lot.

Is there a Valley Metro Light Rail stop near the Temple?

Yes, a light rail stop is located just west of the Mesa Temple grounds near the corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive. Use of the Light Rail to come to the Pageant is encouraged.

Are there logistical tips for senior citizens attending the pageant - such as nearby parking or shuttles, method of getting seating without “squatting” for hours before, etc.

Mesa’s public transit options are senior-friendly, especially the light rail. There is no reserved seating.

Area Map

History of The Mesa Easter Pageant

For more than eight decades, a gathering has occurred on grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple in downtown Mesa during the Easter season.

Many have gathered as cast and crew, giving countless volunteer hours to sharing the life of Jesus Christ on an outdoor stage. Many more have gathered as an audience, to witness and feel the Savior’s powerful message of forgiveness, hope, and peace.

The Mesa Easter Pageant—now recognized as the largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world—draws tens of thousands of people during the two weeks before Easter.

Jesus The Christ

“Jesus the Christ” is not a passion play focusing on the crucifixion, rather, it is a heartfelt celebration of the life and resurrection of the Savior, and invites all to come unto Him and partake of the “good news” that is His gospel.

It’s a very different production from its humble beginnings as a sunrise service in 1938. On that Easter morning, young men and women of Mesa Maricopa Stake’s Mutual Improvement Association, hosted a statewide convention in Mesa, and the culminating event of this festive weekend was an Easter Sunrise Service on the grounds of the temple.

From that time on, it became an annual event and a beloved community tradition.

The sunrise service continued for nearly 30 years as a choral presentation, featuring sacred music that was linked with a brief narration, focusing on the life of Jesus Christ. It was enhanced immeasurably by the setting and backdrop of His Holy House.

In 1967, a more dramatic production debuted, depicting the story of Jesus with a costumed cast posed in tableaux atop a makeshift stage made of cotton trailers.

Scenes focused on important moments in the life and mission of the Savior, including His birth, boy Jesus in the temple, Jesus teaching His followers, The Last Supper, Christ praying in Gethsemane, three crosses depicting the crucifixion, the appearance of the resurrected Christ, and His ascension.

Success After Major Renovations

In 1974, the Mesa Temple closed for a major renovation. The following year, church leaders announced a public open house for the renovated temple. Because Easter fell during the dates of the open house, the First Presidency requested that the sunrise service not be held that year. 1975 would be the only break in its 80-year history.

After it returned, and to accommodate ever-growing crowds, the one-day sunrise service blossomed into a two-evening event prior to Easter that featured hundreds involved in the cast and crew, multiple stages, theatrical lighting, live animals, and a new soundtrack recording. The Mesa Easter Pageant debuted in 1977 as an evening production and was titled, “Jesus the Christ.” It was reported a total of 20,000 people attended the two evening shows that year.

So successful were the evening performances that pageant officials expanded the following year’s performances to four evenings prior to Easter. This time a total of 40,000 people attended.

Drastic Growth

From then on, the production drastically grew, the script was rewritten several times, new music debuted, costumes were perfected, special effects were added, and people came from across Arizona, the United States and the world. Some years the attendance exceeded 100,000 during the two weeks before Easter.

In 1996, the pageant marked another historic milestone. The production, which ran for six nights that year, was presented entirely in Spanish one of the evenings. The Spanish soundtrack had been a work in progress over several years—first the narration and then the lyrics were translated—and the finished program was received with reverence and appreciation.

In 2015, Valley Metro Light Rail had been completed east on Mesa’s Main Street, ending at the northwest corner of the temple grounds. Some called this the “temple stop” and it made this destination easier to reach from other parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, which has nearly 5 million people.

Many other downtown Mesa construction projects began about this time, and in the midst of these, officials for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the Mesa Temple would close in May 2018 for the renovation of the structure and surrounding grounds. During this time, the pageant would be suspended.

Future Plans

During the next few years, plans were implemented to move the pageant stage to the northeast side of the temple grounds with a redesign and underground electrical hookups that would make for easier assembly, as well as landscaping that would accommodate the massive stage and movement of a large cast.

The Mesa Easter Pageant is slated to resume in 2022. The story and spirit of the pageant continue on into the future. From a simple sunrise service to a magnificent production, it has always had the ability to draw many to gather on the sacred grounds of the Mesa Temple. And as they gather, the spirit will continue to touch their hearts and build testimonies because it is the story of the Savior and Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ, and His message ever brings peace and hope to the souls of all those who will hear Him.

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