LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Holy City of the Wichitas is preparing for their 94th annual Prince of Peace Easter Pageant, featuring actors and actresses from all across southwest Oklahoma.
Every year, Holy City puts on a play that runs through the entire life of Jesus. Because of last week’s cancellation, the caretaker said she expects huge crowds on Saturday.
“Last year I think there was around 5 to 6 thousand people here, so we’re hoping it’s even bigger this year. It seems to be, I know we’ve really been putting the word out, and shared it with everyone and we’re hoping for a large crowd this year,” said Holy City caretaker Deena Dolch.
The Easter Pageant is their biggest event all year, and having to cancel last weekend’s was hard for them, and the guests who traveled to town only to be turned away.
“People were calling, and they just couldn’t believe that they were having to go home 14 or 15 hours away when they drive just for the Easter Pageant. It was very sad deal. It was only the third time in 94 years they’ve had to cancel it,” said Dolch.
Dolch said that the rain out last weekend took away an opportunity to get donations they need to solve some major issues at Holy City.
"We still are without water, so that's hard because we don't have any public restrooms. The structure on a lot of the buildings are really starting to deteriorate and it takes a lot of work to keep this place open and running 365 days a year, and because we only run off donations, it's hard, and we really rely on the people."
Dolch said they have raised about 75,000 dollars, halfway to the goal of 150,000.
The Easter Pageant has always been free, and despite their need for more funding, Dolch said free admission isn’t changing anytime soon.
“As long as I’m here, I don’t think we will ever charge anyone admission for the pageant or to come on the grounds," said Dolch.
There will be live music and food trucks at Holy City all day Saturday, and the play will begin as soon as the sun sets. It usually ends around 11 oclock.
Dolch said if the crowds are big as they imagine, people need to get their early to get good seats on Audience Hill and to find parking close to the grounds.