Live nativity scene provides Christmas tradition

  • Dec. 11, 2013 5:05 p.m.

Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus will arrive in Red Deer next week for the 33rd annual live nativity scene.

The event will take place in the south parking lot of the Bower Chapel which is located across from Sunnybrook Farm.

Complete with a 28-member cast that includes shepherds, angels, kings, the annual pageant will be running from Dec. 16th – 18th at three separate times each evening – 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Attendees can expect music and narration, alongside brilliant back drops and a live indoor musical performance at the longstanding community tradition.

Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produce the live Outdoor Nativity Pageant, which began in 1980.

Vesna Higham, assistant director of media relations for the Red Deer Alberta Stake Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained that the live nativity scene has had quite the history in Red Deer.

Originally starting with 11 cast members, the pageant has been performed in City Hall Park, Kin Canyon and Heritage Square over the years. This year it will be performed at the Bower Chapel.

“The highlight of the pageant has to be the live nature of the nativity and as it has grown over the years it has come to be more than just a nativity scene,” said Higham. “It kind of builds and expands every year and I think that one of the phenomena’s that we’ve noticed in relation to the expansion of the pageant is that the commercialism connected to Christmas has led to people wanting to come and see a traditional aspect of Christmas that has kind of been lost and this has allowed the pageant to grow.”

The live cast of local youth and adults has also come to include a real donkey named ‘Rodeo Queen’ as well as a “Real, bleating sheep,” explained Higham.

In the past, the event has come with some unusual occurrences that have left memorable impressions in the minds of attendees, including the year that the pageant was held in Kin Canyon and a curious doe decided she wanted to join the festivities as well as an occurrence in the late ‘90s when Mother Nature decided to bless the cast and crew with a surprise winter storm that led to the cancelling of nine performances.

This year’s free event will extend indoors into the Bower Building’s Cultural Hall where there will be a ‘Cozy Reader’s Corner’ for young children complete with hot chocolate and treats, as well as ‘Christmas Among the Crèches’ in which more than 200 nativity scenes from across the globe will be displayed.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

PHOTO: Meeting of the mayors

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary enjoyed a meeting at the Winter Games Thursday.

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Most Read