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Mount Shasta's 'I AM' Come! pageant called off in 2020

Kelsey Shelton and Skye Kinkade
The G. W. Ballard Ampitheater on McCloud Avenue seats more than 1,000 people and is equipped with complex technology. The 2020 "'I AM' Come!" pageant, which is generally presented the second weekend of August, was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Held in Mount Shasta every summer since 1950, this year’s "I AM" Come! Pageant and Pageant of the Angels has been canceled.

Hundreds of “I AM” students flock to Mount Shasta for the pageant, generally held the second weekend of August. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the halt of some international traffic, it has been called off, said Henny Gombert, office manager at the “I AM” School in Mount Shasta.

Live stream videos of last year’s pageant performance, the “I AM” Pageant of the Angels, as well as a special viewing of the 1978 performance are available online at www.saintgermainfoundation.org/.

Mt. Shasta is a sacred spot for “I AM” followers. Guy Ballard claimed to have met the ascended master Saint Germain there while hiking on the mountain’s flanks in 1930.

The pageant was originally created, produced and directed by Edna Ballard, who with her husband Guy, established the Saint Germain Foundation. It is presented each year at the G.W. Ballard Amphitheater on McCloud Avenue – a place many longtime Mount Shasta residents have never experienced.

The outdoor amphitheater seats more than 1,000 people in shaded comfort and is equipped with complex technology that was upgraded about 10 years ago to include wireless microphones and headsets for the actors.

Last year, people from all over the world, including Canada, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, and Argentina, as well as those from other parts of California and the U.S. played significant roles in acting, production, and set work.

Falling at around four hours in length, the pageant consists of 21 scenes divided into two parts with an intermission in between.

Known for its depiction of Jesus’s ascension into heaven, the final scene involves an elaborate mechanical setup on the hill behind the amphitheater. An artificial tree, a pulley system, a special effects crew, and a life-size LED Jesus give the impression of the figure rising into the sky.

While the Saint Germain Foundation’s headquarters are located in Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, “I AM” temples and sanctuaries can be found in cities across the world. An “I AM” retreat is located at Shasta Springs in Dunsmuir and an “I AM” Reading Room and school are located in Mount Shasta.

Though much of the workings of the Saint Germain Foundation are not open to the public, the pageant is a time where the community is invited to get a glimpse of an I AM activity.

A scene from the 2018 "I AM" Come pageant, which is held annually in Mount Shasta. The 2020 pageant has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.