Passion in Eureka Springs, The Greatest Story Ever Told
When you think of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, words like “extraordinary” and “Ozarks” may come to mind. If “Passion” isn’t near the top of that list, it really should be! The phenomenal Passion Play is a major attraction in the area, and in fact Eureka Springs is the perfect stage for “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
History of the Passion Play in Europe
If you’ve never heard of the Passion Play, there’s some really cool history behind it. In the 1630s, as the bubonic plague swept through Europe, Germany was not spared. And finally, the residents of Oberammergau decided to do something about it by vowing to host a play highlighting the life and death of Jesus Christ, if only they were to be spared. When deaths began to slow rapidly, they kept their word, and held the first play in 1634. In fact, it’s been held ever since, and modern plays are hosted every 10 years. The last year of the play, 2010, featured a 5 hour production that was performed daily from May 15 to October 3 — 102 days in total. Only a handful of times has the Passion Play been cancelled – in 1770 due to a ban by the Ecclesiastical Council of the Elector and in 1940 due to World War II; the 1920 production was delayed 2 years in the aftermath of World War I. The next production will take place in 2020!
The Great Passion Play of Eureka Springs
The extraordinary history of Passion Plays lends fantastic meaning to The Great Passion Play of Eureka Springs, which is an extraordinary production! In fact, it’s been dubbed “America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama” and since its inception in 1968, nearly 8 million people have experienced the performance first-hand! With a performance time of just under 2 hours, attendees witness the interactions of over 170 actors, and also Arabian horses, donkeys, and dozens of birds as well as 4 camels. Set against the backdrop of a 550-ft historically accurate, multi-leveled stage, the Great Passion Play focuses on the events surrounding Christ’s last days on earth, including his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. In 2017 the Passion Play runs from the first weekend in May through the last weekend of October. And, visitors interested in the Passion Play will also want to visit The Christ of the Ozarks, Bible Museum, and of course gift shops — all of which are open year-round. You can also journey through the Holy Land Tour and take the backstage tour ALL YEAR LONG!
And even more importantly, Eureka Springs has a lot to offer visitors! A Victorian Village with plenty of shopping and galleries, it’s a great place to wander and explore. For those of a more adventurous bent, visitors can also ride a steam train, take a zipline tour, or explore the cave system nearby.
The Passion Play sets the stage for a great faith-based tour – whether a group of like-minded individuals, a church group setting up a tour for its members, or something altogether different. It’s also a fantastic inclusion for any tour featuring the Ozarks in all their splendor!
How YOU Can Experience the Passion Play!
First and foremost, a TAP Partner can help you set up a tour to any part of the world you want! So if you’d like an introduction to one of our tour operators based on location, just reach out to us today and we can help plan your custom tour. However, AdVance Tour & Travel has set up this phenomenal itinerary featuring the best of the Ozarks, and you can completely customize it based on your own group’s special requirements and wants!
Discover Branson, Bentonville, and Eureka Springs
Come enjoy all Branson and northwest Arkansas has to offer!
Come enjoy all Branson and northwest Arkansas has to offer! Plan on being thoroughly entertained by some of the best shows in Branson. Explore the Branson Landing – with more than 100 specialty stores along a waterfront boardwalk. Next we will enjoy the natural beauty of Arkansas while visiting a multitude of unique historical sites and museums in Eureka Springs and Bentonville. This trip is guaranteed … to be one you’ll love!!
Want to learn even more about the history of the Passion Play and how you can experience it in Oberammergau in 3 years? Check out this webinar – the live version will be May 9, 2017 at 2 pm Eastern, and the on-demand recording will be published afterward at this same link: TAP Into Oberammergau & The Passion Play.
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