65th Annual Cave Creek Christmas Pageant


Event date: 7:00pm December 2 & 3, 2017

Location: Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Cave Creek

CAVE CREEK – 65th annual Cave Creek Foothills Christmas Pageant, delighting hundreds of spectators from Cave Creek, Carefree and drawing visitors from throughout the metro Phoenix/Scottsdale area. This traditional community event, which was started by the Cave Creek 4-H Club in 1952.

You may know the story, but you haven’t experienced it like this. Come, reflect and enjoy. It’s a joy for people of all ages. No one should miss it.

Directions:  Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area (44000 N Spur Cross Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331) is located approximately 35 miles north of central Phoenix. Interstate 17, State Route 51, and Loop 101 can all be used to reach the park. From the intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road head north on Cave Creek Road about 2.5 miles to Spur Cross Road. Turn north for approximately 4.5 miles to the public parking area For more information, visit http://www.foothillschristmaspageant.com

The Three Kings make their dramatic entrance on horseback. Other animals and their owners participate as they wish. The Choir is over 25 singers this year.

Come join us!

Bring Blankets and Chairs.

History: In 1952, the local 4-H Club in Cave Creek, under the leadership of Jean Hackler, put together a holiday pageant entitled Oh Holy Night that included a live re-enactment of the Christmas story and showcased some of their animals. For the next 50 years, community members joined together to produce this homespun show that became an area tradition.

The original production took place nestled among the rocks at the base of Black Mountain in an area known as Tse Bonita. Audience members sat on blankets on the ground while fires lit in the rocks on the mountainside lit the angels and provided added “starlight” to the production. The beautiful desert skies brought a sense of awe to the event.

After 50 years, the pageant’s supporting organization disbanded in 2002. Records and memorabilia were handed over to the Cave Creek Museum. In 2003, there was no event at Spur Cross or anywhere and it looked like the pageant was over. The Luminaria Run was created to at least keep the luminaria trail aspect of the event alive.

Cave Creek resident Toby Payne had volunteered since 1992, enhancing the event with lighting and sound. In 2004, he asked the Foothills Community Foundation to support the resurrection of the pageant. They agreed and the pageant was presented in the desert preserve at Desert Arroyo Middle School for two years.

As the Luminaria Run was created to support the Cave Creek tradition, luminaria crews from the Run also helped light the road to Desert Arroyo.

From the moment of the pageant’s return, organizers had been working with the town of Cave Creek to find a desert location more similar to that of Tse Bonita. Spur Cross Ranch seemed the perfect solution, but it was not quite ready until 2006.

The 2006 Desert Foothills Christmas Pageant marked the first year the pageant was held in the beautiful new Spur Cross location. Under the stars of the desert sky, the tradition continued.

2007 an unusual rain/snow storm washed the pageant grounds out and damaged the set, forcing cancellation. Volunteers, resilient as ever, constructed a rock and mortar “Inn” that will serve for many years to come.

In spite of a couple of lapses, 2017 is the celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the Pageant!