Tag Archives: Hill Cumorah Pageant

Pageant Rush

Pageant Rush

Pageant rush is upon us.  Elizabethe tells me a guy called in a frenzy asking if we had enough rooms for his group.  She says, he said, “I can’t believe practically every place is already booked.”

Yes, that’s what happens in Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant season.  The Pageant rush hits and every one is frantically looking for lodging.


Because Palmyra is a tiny village near a very small city (Rochester).  That’s why I tell people to try to book 6 to 12 months in advance.  Expect to pay more.  It’s supply and demand.

Bond, James Bond

I’ve been learning how to do gobos (go betweens) in Poser and DAZ3d.  I created this James Bond inspired piece today as part of my studies.

copyright 2018 db walton

Bond, James Bond

I’ve finally got a handle on making and using gobos.  A gobo is a sheet that goes between your lighting and subject to create shadows.  In this case, a spiral pattern falls on the lady and the floor.

Taco Bell

We went for a cheap date today.  We drove to Victor and went to Taco Bell.  While I miss the good ol’ 5 item menu, their XXL grilled burrito is pretty good.  I gave it a try today and I’d give it a 5 out of 5.

March is Here

March is Here

March is here and it’s a nice day outside.  The weather reports warn tomorrow won’t be so nice, so I’m enjoying it today.

We went to a late lunch/early dinner with our friends Ron and Mary Harris.  Elizabethe had a coupon for a free meal, so that governed our choice.  It wasn’t bad.  They had prime rib!

We stopped at the Indian store after dinner.  Elizabethe noticed she didn’t have her purse (credit cards, phone, ID, etc.)  Back we went.  Thanks to the alert people at Golden Corral, the purse was recovered with everything in tact.

Good and the Bad

That’s the good.  The bad is I noticed a charge on my business credit card for about $200.  So, I had to cancel my card.  It’s ironic.  The charge occurred immediately after I purchased an update to my WinZip software.

More Good

I wanted to stop at Best Buy on our way home.  I saw a very nice hp 32q monitor.  It was on sale.  Elizabethe came in the store to use the bathroom, and when she saw me looking at it, she said, “THAT’S WHAT YOU CAN GET ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”

I’m jealous.  It’s a very nice, better than 4K, monitor.  Easy on the eyes and BIG.

I took her old monitor, a 27″ 720p, and put it on my office computer.  It looks like crap next to my LaCie monitor. (But, then, most monitors do.)  I’m getting a new monitor.  That’s all there is to it.


I then got looking at PCs.  Hmmm… 6 cores, 16 threads, 16GB, … well, if it had 32GB, I probably would have bought it.

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2018

Can you believe it will be Hill Cumorah Pageant time soon.  We already have people inquiring, however, with fewer rooms to rent, we’re limited to small groups (couples and individuals mostly.)


Recommend Desk

Recommend Desk

Working at the recommend desk in the temple is always a delight.  Meeting people as they come to the House of the Lord is an awesome responsibility when you think about it.  It is your job to assure people have the correct documents to enter the temple.

Being a “destination temple”, you meet people from all over the world too.  People come from around the world to visit the Palmyra Temple.  Many ask to look out the window to see the Sacred Grove from the temple — something no other temple has.

As one person put it, it is the only temple you can look out a window and see one of the Lord’s outdoor temples.

Sacred Grove

Becky took the car after dropping us at the temple so she can visit the Sacred Grove.  She returned later to go to the 7:30pm session.

In spite of Hill Cumorah Pageant being over, we had several guests.  They had enough for a sealing session that it wasn’t necessary to augment it with ordinance workers.  I wish every night was like that.


Rain is slowing the progress on the roof.  They are 90% complete.  They have a few pieces to attach and rain gutters and then they are done.

Sam Patch with Becky

Sam Patch with Becky

We went on the Sam Patch with Becky today.  We took the noon cruise.  When we got to Lock 32, we had to wait for a while.  We sat for a long time waiting for the lock doors to open, but once they did, we entered the lock, rose to the next section, exited it, turned around, and went back.

We stopped at Wegman’s on the way home and got some cheese and bread to snack on during pageant tonight.  We took Becky to the cheese counter so she could sample some of the cheeses.

Pageant – Last Night

It is the last night of Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017.  We got there early and bought dinner from the Lion’s and Rotary Clubs.

I wandered around and took photos of missionaries and cast members.  My goal was to photograph every full-time missionary there.  I think I got all of them, but it was like finding a needle in a haystack.

copyright 2017 db walton

Sister Missionaries with a Guest

I especially like this next picture.  I managed to catch Elder Bradford’s expression just right…

copyright 2017 db walton

Elder Bradford Meets Lehi

I also ran in to Sister Crofts.  She served in our ward last year around Christmas time.  She has been home for a while and returned to see pageant.  (She’s also playing her viola in Sacrament meeting tomorrow!)

copyright 2017 db walton

President and Sister Evans and return missionary Sister Crofts

copyright 2017 db walton

Sister Missionaries



Getting up at four takes its toll.  In order to get Marilyn to the airport for her flight we had to get up at 4pm.   It really wasn’t hard, but I woke at 2 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It took its toll around 4 p.m. this afternoon.

We got her to the airport on time, and on the way home looked for a place to grab breakfast.  What is it with Rochester that nothing is open before 6 a.m.?  In California that would never fly.  Here… even fast food places a Californian would find open 24 hours a day are closed here — even Dunkin Donuts was closed!!!

We finally found a McDonald’s open, but by that time it was 6 a.m.  I’m guessing they just opened.


I’m speaking at the Tri County Networkers on Thursday.  I’ve decided to speak about digital painting and how that fits in to my business model.

copyright 2016 db walton - four

Painting of Marilyn Steers

I have a bit more work to do on it, but I was in a rush because we have our temple shift tonight.  (Elizabethe and I do volunteer work at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New York Palmyra Temple.)  I might do some more work on it tomorrow, but for now, this is where it stands.


I’m thinking the Hill Cumorah Pageant letters haven’t gone out yet.  Normally by this time of year our phone is ringing off the wall.

If you are NOT participating in Pageant (i.e. you are not waiting for a letter), get your reservations in quickly.  Once those letters go out rooms will disappear.  (There are very few places to stay in Palmyra.  Rooms go quickly.)

And, for Pete’s sake, stay here a few days.  There’s plenty to do in the area, and we’d love having you stay in Palmyra.



Battery Prep

Battery Prep

With all of the rechargeable devices we have these days, you need a day for battery prep.  What is “battery prep”?  It’s when you make sure EVERYTHING is charged.

I guess us photographers, ham radio operators, and other consumers of battery powered devices deal with this more often.  I have 4 different types of batteries to support 6 cameras.  That means I have 4 different types of chargers, and in order to charge more than one at a time, I have LOTS of chargers.

Today I charged them all.

Pageant Last Night

Pageant last night was the best I have ever seen it.  I’m going through the photos today and my new lens on my X-T1 delivered amazing images.

copyright 2016 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2016

I love these scene where Christ invites the children to come to him.  It is my favorite part of the Book of Mormon… and Pageant.  An artist’s paintbrush can not capture these scene as well as they have in pageant.

Christ is referenced the average of once every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon.  It speaks of Christ more than the Bible.  Hill Cumorah Pageant is based on the Book of Mormon, and thus, all about Jesus Christ.

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Getting ready for Hill Cumorah Pageant is a big deal.  Helpers and performers arrive this week as they prepare for Pageant.  There are many visitors at church today.  About 1/2 of the cultural hall is filled and next week it will be more.

We have a new Gospel Doctrine instructor.  Sister Reynolds is the new instructor.  She will do a great job.

Yesterday left me feeling beat.  We came home and prepared a crockpot full of soup, and then I took a nap.  I took a long nap.  I really hurt after too much paddling yesterday.


Dinner with the sister missionaries is always great.  Elizabethe and I made potato leek and ham soup.  It turned out tasty.

Dessert consisted of strawberry rhubarb sauce over vanilla ice cream.  One taste of that and I remember times with Grandma and Grandpa Knowles.  Rhubarb goes great with vanilla ice cream.


Recovering from yesterday’s excursion hurts.  Add to that a little sunburn.  The sunburn looks like birthmarks.  I’m only burnt where I didn’t spread sunscreen.  If anyone needs a way to fake a birthmark  spread sunscreen everywhere except where you want that birth mark, and then go get burned.

The fatigue and muscle aches will be gone tomorrow.  The sunburn, will be around for a few days.

July Again

July Again

It’s July again.  It seems the time passes faster every year.  With it being July again it means a full month with Hill Cumorah Pageant, PPSNYS Workshop and Pioneer Day.  Yup, it is July again.

Elizabethe and I were planning on what to do for our date today since it is Friday.  Yesterday, however, I got invited to go kayaking today.  Well, as things would have it, it started to rain about the time we were to go kayaking.  As a result, we went on our date instead.

I had three stores on my list to visit on the way to our date.  All three stores were strikes.  Three strikes, and you’re out!

Neither one of us have ever been to Jimmy John’s so we decided to check them out.  The meat was better than Subway’s, but they don’t have the variety of Subway.  I ordered a roast beef and it was good, but craved some other toppings and horseradish.  (I don’t even know if Subway’s has horseradish.)

For dessert we went to Dairy Queen.  The Blizzards are very good, but next time I’m ordering a small.  Medium and large are much too big.

By the time we got home it was still early, but both of us were exhausted.

Exciting Morning

Exciting Morning

I had an exciting morning.  I was asked to go take some photos for two of my favorite people – Don Enders and Bob Parrot.  Don is a retired historian who has done a lot of research and work for the church.  Bob is a forester who cares for the Sacred Grove and knows a lot about lumber and 19th century home construction in this region.

We met at the Welcome Center and walked together to the Smith Frame Home where Don and Bob pointed out the various details that needed photographic documentation.  In addition to taking the photos, I was like a sponge soaking up all this knowledge from these two men.

Now, just a little about the Smith Frame Home…

This house was built in the 1820s, or started, I should say, by Alvin Smith.  After the Smiths lost the farm, other owners made significant changes.  One changed turned the house in to a Victorian style home.  Then in 1997 the church brought it back to its original form.

In August, 2001, the church received an award for the restoration.  The Preservation League of New York State gave the 2001 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award to the Church for the restoration of the Joseph Smith Sr. frame home here in Manchester.  (I know, it is easy to call it Palmyra, but it is actually in the Township of Manchester, NY.)

What Did I Photograph?

Stuff like this notch in a beam…

copyright 2016 db walton

Notch in Beam in Smith Frame House

And, these saw blade marks in one of the planks…

copyright 2016 db walton

Sawblade Marks

I am very anxious to read what Brother Enders will be writing.  These pictures tell a story, but he will put them in historical perspective.


Phone calls are coming in about Hill Cumorah Pageant room rentals.  We’re slowly filling up.  BUT, we do have rooms available Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th!!!  These usually fill first, but for some reason, we have rooms!  Call us at (315) 359-5280 to reserve a room.  We’re more affordable lodging  than the hotels, inns and B&Bs.

Later Than Usual

Later Than Usual

Reservations are rolling in later than usual.  I think part of the reason was a malfunction at a linking website to our site.  However, they got it fixed and now we’re receiving traffic and phone calls.

I say this every year…

If you are planning to come to Hill Cumorah Pageant, make your reservations early.  The earlier, the better.  We start for the next year as soon as pageant is over.  Others may start taking reservations 6 months in advance.  Whatever the case may be, start early making your reservations for lodging.

Tip 2

Plan to spend ample time here.  Trying to see the church sites in this area is best done over a few days.  Also, keep in mind that this is a culture-rich area, as well as the geographic features of the area.  Within short drives from Palmyra we have waterfalls (lots of them), museums and art galleries, amusement parks and waterslides, and more.  There’s no need to rush through town.  Make your vacation all about Palmyra!

Tip 3

Eat and shop in the village (and when you go to Pageant, at the Pageant itself).  These business largely exist for your pleasure.  When visitors to pageant don’t eat and shop here, those businesses may not be able to stay open.   Since I’ve been here, I’ve see a few LDS tourist oriented businesses close because of a lack of patronage.

Tip 4

Be prepared.  Bring an umbrella (because it rains a lot), and insect repellant (the result of all the rain we get).  Getting caught in a flash shower, or being eaten alive by mosquitos, can make your vacation unpleasant.  Plan accordingly.

copyright 2015 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant Performance

Tip 5

Westerners, bring your GPS.  We don’t have tall mountains by which you can get your bearings.  We’re surrounded by tall trees and sometimes you can’t even tell where the sun is because you’re in a deep canyon of trees.   If the car you are driving has a compass, trust it even if your instincts are telling you different.  We’d hate for you to get lost.