Every summer, hundreds of Latter-day Saints, better known as "Mormons", arrive in Palmyra to help with the performance of the Hill Cumorah Pageant. This 75 minute (approximately) performance has everything a person could want in a presentation, from beautiful music, an erupting volcano, realistic costumes, battle scenes, and an interpretation of Christ descending from the heavens to greet the people. The storyline is a recreation of scriptural stories from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. For those who believe in Christ as the Savior, this is a deeply spiritual show, but even for those who are not of the Christian faith, will enjoy the Hill Cumorah Pageant for its entertaining events.
This year, the Hill Cumorah pageant will be held on July 9-10 and 13-17 at the Hill Cumorah, which is on Rte 21 between Manchester and Palmyra. This is a FREE event and no reservations or tickets are required. It is an outdoor amphitheater with 9,000 chairs and plenty of lawn space for additional seating. You may bring food in with you (no alcohol) or you may purchase it there from the local Rotary and Lions Organizations with all proceeds going to local organizations. The performance starts at dusk, around 9:15PM and lasts for about 75 minutes. You will want to arrive a little early to get settled in. Spanish and ASL interpretation is available. For more information, you can visit the official Hill Cumorah Pageant website.
I also want to note that there is often a large billboard van driving around and people across the street from the pageant entrance that are not participants in the pageant. They are a group of volunteers who do not share the Mormon beliefs. For information on what members of the Church of Latter-day Saints believe you can visit their website or stop in at the visitor's center located next to the Hill Cumorah. The visitor center and other local church sites are open year-round. You can view their schedule here.