BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The Bronxville Reformed Church will celebrate its 100th Christmas Pageant this Christmas Eve at 5:30 p.m. on the hillside of the reformed church at 180 Pondfield Road on the corner of Midland Avenue and Pondfield.
The pageant as presented in modern time is influenced by a play called “The Bronxville Christmas Mystery 1914.” The work was not intended to be a religious spectacle, but a play about the joy of the holidays and family life as well as the grief of war.
At the time, World War I was displacing many Belgian refugees raising concern among communities throughout the globe. In Bronxville, resident William Chauncy Langdon decided to devise the play for the Christ Church Parish House. It was held as a fundraiser that would assist the refugees and bring people together.
The play was performed in Bronxville, Bethlehem and Belgium. It was produced and performed in December 1914 and again in January 1915. After its success, Langdon decided to create a simpler version to be performed outdoors. Langdon chose the Bethlehem scene as the basis for this new Christmas pageant. It was held on the hillside of the Gramatan Hotel facing the train station. In 1940, it moved to the hillside of the Reformed Church. This year the pageant continues its tradition in Bronxville. It will feature a live camel alongside a donkey and sheep all arranged through the Dawn Animal Agency.
The Virgin Mary will be played by Lucy Whitney, a Bronxville High School senior. The Manger Angel will be played by Edelawit Bird, a fourth-grader. Brooks Klimley, Randolph Mayer and Timothy McGrath will be the Three Kings. The McGrath family has attended and participated in the Pageant for more than 84 years.
The Westchester Brass Quartet will also perform.
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