The Boys Ranch Town’s annual drive-through Living Christmas Pageant opens tonight and runs through Sunday evening at the ranch, located at 5100 S.E. 33rd.

The pageant features nine scenes this year, and guests will receive an audio CD to listen to as they drive from scene to scene. The pageant is free, but donations are accepted.

“This is our biggest public event of the year,” said Brent Thackerman, administrator for the ranch, which is part of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

Boys Ranch Town currently serves 42 boys at the residential facility, and all are involved in the pageant, Thackerman said.

Ari Pierce, 16, will be participating in his third pageant at Boys Ranch Town this year.

“I enjoy it because it spreads the Gospel and just lets people know about Jesus,” Pierce said.

The ranch started preparing for the pageant in early November, said Pierce, a wise man in this year’s pageant. In previous pageants, he’s played the roles of Joseph and John the Baptist.

Pierce said he’s thankful to Jesus for creating the ranch — an environment where he can live happily while he’s away from home.

Casey Loughridge, 13, is in his first pageant this year. He’ll play either a boy raised from the dead or Jesus in this year’s pageant.

“I just hope the pageant helps people get to know Jesus and understand what Christmas means,” Loughridge said.

The pageant opens with a scene of Mary and Joseph walking the road to Bethlehem, followed by a scene of baby Jesus in the manger, the shepherds being called, the wise men being called, Jesus walking on water, Jesus raising the widow’s son, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension.

In addition to the boys playing various roles in the pageant, the event also includes live animals including a donkey, a camel, sheep and a cow.

The mission of Boys Ranch Town is to provide a caring Christian environment where boys can learn to care and have a Christ-like love for themselves and others. The primary goal is reunification of a boy with his family, but if that’s not a viable option, the facility can provide a home until the boy graduates from high school.

The average length of stay at the ranch is 18 months.

For more information about Boys Ranch Town or the pageant, call 341-3606.

(David Hartman can be reached by e-mail at


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