The Live Nativity is something the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been doing since 1980, and it’s become a tradition for some families in the community.
With many moves along the way, the Live Nativity is now at its home at the Church’s building in Kentwood.
Doug Higham, stake president with the Church, said one of the reasons was that about 12 years ago they started a creche display inside.
“Last year, we had over 300 little creche displays of the Nativity from all around the world, so we thought it would be nice to put the two together so that people could come and see the creches and go outside and see the Live Nativity,” he said.
A creche, he explained, is a display of the Nativity.
“We have a Live Nativity re-creation, and usually it’s the youth in our church who will play the roles of the various participants in the Nativity scene.”
They have someone play Mary and Joseph, who enter in on a donkey.
“We have live animals there – donkeys and sheep. We have youth that play shepherds, wise men, the inn-keeper and that also play the angels.”
He added the number of participants in the performance depends on the size of the youth groups that are doing it each night. “We’d have anywhere from 15 to 30. Sometimes we have more angels than shepherds and sometimes we have fewer angels than shepherds,” he said with a laugh.
The youth involved are those who are a part of the church and other congregations.
“We have five congregations in Red Deer, but we have three that participate in this,” said Higham.
Two of those congregations meet at the Kentwood Chapel and one of them meets at their Bower Chapel.
He said the Live Nativity is something they do every year, and they have had good feedback from the community.
“We get lots of people who come out every year and they seem to enjoy sharing in that part of Christmas.”
Dates for performances are Dec. 19, 20 and 21.
Times include 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and are all at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
No tickets are needed for the performance. “We’d love to have everyone come and watch it, participate and help get in the spirit of the Christmas season.”