|Pageant visitors learned about the forgotten art of blacksmithing.|
The Castle Valley Pageant was presented on July 25- Aug. 3. The eight performances were well attended by people from around the region, as well as visitors from around the state. A pioneer village was set-up before each performance to give visitors a taste of pioneer life. A blacksmith showed the visitors how to use the bellows on the fire to get it hotter. He demostrated how the steel was heated and shaped.
Pageant goers learned how to make a pioneer toy out of string and a piece of wood. Demonstrators showed young visitors how to shape a ring from a horseshoe nail. There were also treats to taste as homemade bread, butter and ice cream were big hits. A taste of dutch oven cooking was also part of the fare. Beadwork was also demonstrated. Young visitors had the opportunity to pet a cow and could try their hand at milking if they had the desire.
Popular among young and old alike was a ride in the buggy around the pageant site. Visitors also wandered in and out of the Indian lodge which is part of a scene in the pageant, as well as exploring the dugout and pioneer cabin.
As pageant time approached all of the cast members moved into the audience to mingle with the audience and answer any questions visitors might have. The pageant began with a lively tribute to all members of the branches of the armed forces. The veterans of the various branches stood while their flag was brought in on horseback. The American flag was carried in and the audience all participated in the singing of the national anthem.
The pageant unfolded telling the tale of the early settlers to the Castle Valley. The stories of Abe and Neva, Wink and Anna, Joe and Tilda and other stalwart pioneers unfolded under the starlit nights. The story of the Savior's visit to the Americas as well as a crucifixition scene were all part of the pageant. The early settlers had much to contend with and water was always a big issue. One scene from the pageant shows a dam which is always washing out from flash floods. As the settlers discuss the problem, they end up dancing and frolicking in the Emery County blue slate mud; much to the delight of the audience. The mud slingers also find a piece of coal which washed down from the mountain and one of them makes the comment, "There's probably not a wagon load of coal on that whole mountain."
The pageant ends with a reunion scene of Joe and Tilda and a young son who had died on the journey from the Sanpete Valley to the Castle Valley. Montell Seely is the author of the Castle Valley Pageant.