Live nativity portrays birth of JesusFamilies can stay warm and cozy in the car while visiting the Journey Through Christmas live nativity at First Church of the Nazarene in Valley City.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Families can stay warm and cozy in the car while visiting the Journey Through Christmas live nativity at First Church of the Nazarene in Valley City.
“It’s a drive-through Christmas presentation at the birth of Jesus, and it’s presented in six scenes,” said the Rev. JoAnn Spack, children and family pastor at the church.
The free event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, with the scenes telling the Christmas story looping around the Church of the Nazarene.
Cars will enter on Eighth Avenue Southwest to Riverview Drive, where they will be met by a greeter and given a CD or cassette of narration that explains what’s going on in every scene.
This is the eighth year of Journey Through Christmas, and last year, 800 people saw the nativity presentation, Spack said.
Many volunteers donate time and materials to make the nativity possible.
On each evening of the show, two separate crews of 30 costumed characters are required. Each crew is out for half an hour, and then spends half an hour warming up indoors while the other crew is out.
“Never, in the last eight years, even when we’ve had cold or wind — they don’t complain,” Spack said.
Costumes are designed to go over winter apparel, and some of the scenes include fires, so actors can stay somewhat comfortable. Of course, not everyone has that luxury — while shepherds can cozy up to a fire, the angel proclaiming the birth of Christ to them is high above them, braving the wind.
Teams of people help set up and take down, build sets and create costumes.
Some people help prepare and serve meals and treats for people participating in the show. Others provide straw, walkie talkies and four-wheelers for the event, or baby-sit children whose parents are involved.
Then there are the live animals, such as the donkey that accompanies Joseph and Mary on the way to Bethlehem in the first scene, and the ewe and her lamb being guarded by the shepherds. This year, there will be alpacas, too.
The event has become a tradition for some families, both those driving through the nativity scene and those involved in it, and some people even drive through two or three times.
“It’s our gift to the community. We just enjoy doing this,” Spack said.
The First Church of the Nazarene is located at 913 Riverview Drive in Valley City.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at email@example.com