Easter Pageant

Kenton’s Easter Pageant Keeps County’s Local Tradition Alive    ( Update 2015)

This vintage photo from the files of The Boise City News illustrates the more than 50-year history of the Kenton Easter Pageant. The Easter Story is retold each year with the help of countless volunteer actors, back stage personnel and those who feed them and the families who come to watch and worship each year.

Who would think that a performance depicting the life of Christ could possibly be replicated in the Oklahoma Panhandle? Surprising as it is, each year the Holy Land is experienced through the Kenton Easter Pageant. The Pageant is a long running tradition kept alive through generations of volunteers.

“A local pastor along with some neighbors and friends decided to put together an Easter service on the hillside in 1952. The service started out as being just some scriptures and fellowship on the hill. Throughout the years, it’s become what it is today,” said Hal Clark who has been a supporter of the Pageant since 1954.

The service was originally held just on Sunday morning. A few years later, a Good Friday service was added. As organizers realized that campers would come from Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and even Texas to participate, they decided to accommodate them with a two-part Easter Pageant performed on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The Saturday evening performance ends with the Crucifixion of Christ and the Sunday morning performance depicts Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension. Dinner and breakfast is served after both performances at Camp Billy Joe, which is located near the amphitheater where the pageant is held. The Pageant is funded by the free will donations given at these meals.

From the meal, to the practices and the performance itself, it takes a lot of volunteers to complete the Pageant. Families from throughout the River Valley area have maintained the Easter Pageant tradition throughout the years.

“It’s important to remember that parts aren’t important and that it takes the whole community to put this pageant together. People come from all around the area and from different faiths to work together on this pageant,” said Clark.

Like many others who will help with this year’s Pageant, Monty Joe Roberts grew into it. Years ago his father performed in the Pageant and as he grew up, he played some parts of his own. Now he acts as the sound technician and his wife, Vicki, directs the performance. “A lot of this year’s performers grew up into the pageant just like I did. We all just graduate into parts through the generations and stay involved throughout the years,”said Roberts.

The hard work of these volunteers does not go unnoticed. Each year, more than 400 people gather to watch the performance on the hillside two miles east of Kenton, OK. Visitors from as far away as the Holy Land itself have come to enjoy the performance. This year’s Pageant will be held on Saturday, April 4th at 6 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) and on Sunday, April 5th at 6 a.m. MDT. Meals will be served after each Performance for a donation and camping accommodations are available at Camp Billy Joe.

Additional information:

April 4th & 5th 2015

Saturday Evening 6:00 PM MDT

Sunday Morning 6:00 AM MDT

Meals will be served at Camp Billy Joe after each performance

Supper and Breakfast Cost:       Donation

Performances are simulcast 89.1 FM on your car radio


Lodging at Camp Billy Joe:

$2.00 per person

camper sites $5.00

Contact Shirley Hunter at 580-516-1773 for reservation

Self-contained campers may park at Camp Billy Joe free of charge

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