History of the Easter Pageant

Living Picture Pageant

3:00 PM on Palm Sunday
Medicine Valley
High School Gymnasium
303 Crook Avenue
Curtis, Nebraska

Easter City

On April 4, 1958 the first community Easter pageant was presented at the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture under the direction of Reverend Frank Hainey and Mrs. Anne Nicklas. It was similar to the Passion Plays of Germany and South Dakota.

In 1961 the format was changed to its present form of "Living Pictures." A narration was added to establish the mood and background of each scene and its accompanying choral numbers.

Children were added in 1971 to an additional scene that shows Jesus surrounded by children.

Governor Charles Thone signed Legislation in 1981 that designated Curtis as Nebraska's official "Easter City".

In 1997 three new metal crosses were erected to replace the original wooden cross that had stood on a hill south of Curtis for many years. The center cross is lighted each night during the Christmas and Easter seasons. It is visible for many miles. the crosses are a tribute to the Living Christ and a symbol of Christianity to all that see them.

The Pageant includes 17 scenes of familiar events, famous paintings and statuary. These include The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Reubens’ Descent From The Cross and The Pieta by Michelangelo.

The crown of thorns used in the production comes from an original Crown of Thorns plant in Mexico. The helmet, chest plate and leather protector portion of the Roman Soldier uniforms were acquired from MGM Productions and were used in the movies Ben Hur, Julius Caesar and Quo Vadis.

All Scenes have been constructed and painted by local artists. The song "Kyrie" was written by David Cole while he was a student at Medicine Valley High School. The community has presented the Easter Pageant for more than 50 years.

Interested in helping with the Easter Pageant?


Please call 367-4122 during the day for details.

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