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Ramona Pageant

California State Outdoor Play

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson; public domain photo on Wikipedia

Official State Outdoor Play of California

California designated the Ramona Pageant as the official state outdoor play in 1993. All Art & Drama Symbols

The Ramona Pageant is an outdoor play staged each year in Hemet, California since 1923. The script for the play is adapted from the 1884 novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson. The outdoor play is held over three consecutive weekends in April and May in the Ramona Bowl, a natural amphitheater in the foothills above Hemet in Riverside County. The production features cast of more than 300, made up largely of local residents and amateur actors.

Ramona Pageant: 'A Labor of Love'

"I am going to write a novel, in which will be set forth some Indians' experiences in a way to move people's hearts" vowed novelist Helen Hunt Jackson in 1883.

The result was Ramona, a romance of Old California about the love of a noble native American and a beautiful Mission girl. Published in 1884, Jackson's novel is still tugging hearts, and so is Hemet, California's 66-year-old "Ramona Pageant."