The Martin Harris Pageant, which is now in its 30th anniversary year, began with Clarkston resident Denzil Clark who grew up near the cemetery where early Mormon leader Martin Harris is buried. Clark said he saw the beginning of a small excavation at the cemetery and was familiar with the history and testimony Harris had of the Book of Mormon’s origin.
Clark thought the location would be a perfect place to honor Harris and his contributions to the young Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On KVNU’s Crosstalk program Monday, Clark said he had a chance to meet with now-LDS Apostle L. Tom Perry years ago and tell him about an idea to create an amphitheater that could host programs about the early LDS leader.
“I told him about the opportunity,” Clark said, “now before all the lots were sold and the hillside would be filled, we should have an amphitheater where we could hold pageants or other important events for the city or for anyone.
“As a result of that, that was the beginning of the memorial and of the pageant, in a sense.”
The pageant began in 1983 and has grown in popularity since. Pageant committee member Sherwin Seamons said there is no charge for tickets but it is good to get them early, even though seating capacity has been increased by 300 people. He said there are 3100 available seats for each night of the pageant.
“If you multiply 3100 by those 12 nights, you come up with 37,200 available seats,” Seamons explained. “As of last Thursday evening, 23,600 of those 37,200 had been spoken for.”
Seamons said the pageant will be presented August 2-3, 6-10, and 13-17 starting at 8:30 p.m. each evening. The city of Clarkston will be sponsoring a roast beef and potato dinner each evening. Tickets are available online at <a href=”http://www.clarkstonpageant.org/” target=”_blank”>www.clarkstonpageant.org</a>.