The 38th annual Outdoor Live Nativity Pageant from Dec. 18th to 20th. performances will take place at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. at 8 Keast Way. Photo by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Live nativity pageant takes place Dec. 18th to 20th

Outdoor pageant takes place in the evening at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. at 8 Keast Way

Red Deer residents are invited to the 38th annual Outdoor Live Nativity Pageant from Dec. 18th to 20th.

It’s a longstanding tradition that has been taking place for almost four decades at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 8 Keast Way.

Every year, at least one member of the Guenther family has taken part.

This year, Ben and Ashley Guenther will play a major role by playing the part of Joseph and Mary for an evening of performances, according to a church press release.

The longtime churchgoer’s son Parker, 15, and daughter Hadley, 12, will also take part in the outdoor pageant.

“Participating in the pageant has become part of our Christmas tradition,” explained Ben.

“It’s something I did with my parents and now I’m doing it with my children. It sets the tone for us going into Christmas by reminding us what the season is really about.”

Ashley said it is a special experience to be a part of the pageant.

“I had the part of Mary for the first time last year and I was really overcome with an appreciation for all that she did,” she said.

The play features a 28-member cast of shepherds, angels, kings and other characters as well as Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. There is also a stable with live animals.

Evening performances will take place at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. at 8 Keast Way.

The outdoor play is about 20 minutes long and, “Is a small reminder during a hectic season that a gift given more than 2,000 years ago still matters today,” the press release reads.

There will also be an indoor crèche display featuring about 300 tiny nativity sets from around the world.

“The sets are from members who loaned their personal displays over the years,” said Ryan Handley, public affairs director with the church. “People can walk around and enjoy those too.”

-With files from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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