Holy City of the Wichitas
This little slice of old Jerusalem in Oklahoma is the evolution of a 90 year old passion play.
Nestled in the Wichita mountains is what appears to be the stone ruins of an ancient city, but this structure is actually a fairly modern construction known as the Holy City of the Wichitas, where for the past 90 years, the story of Jesus Christ has been retold to thousands of onlookers.
The long-running passion play there in the Wichita hills began back in 1926 when one Reverend Anthony Mark Wallock dragged his Sunday school class up into the hills to learn about Jesus. Presenting his class with a tableau of the Resurrection, little could Wallock have known that his presentation would be the start of a 90+ year tradition. The year after his first tableau, he opened up his annual presentation to the public, and it was an instant hit. By 1930, the event was attracting upwards of 6,000 people, and growing larger each year.
Originally there was no permanent venue in the hills, but in 1934 the the Works Progress Administration (WPA) began building the sets and buildings that are now known as the Holy City of the Wichitas. The replica holy land includes locations like Pilate’s judgment hall, Herod’s Court, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord’s Supper building, and a number of towers and walls. The story that told each year covers Jesus’ life from birth through his resurrection. Every year.
The play continues today bringing thousands of viewers to to the faux-ly land each year on Easter Sunday. The cast has grown from a handful to hundreds, and enthusiasm for the event doesn’t seem to be waning. It is best known for its pageant, but the holy land itself can be visited year round.
Know Before You Go
Located approximately 22 miles NW of Lawton,or 10 miles W of I-44.262 Holy City Rd, Cache, OK 73527
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