There is a local church that sponsors a living nativity each year for three nights in December, and we decided to go see it this year. I really had no idea if it was something you drove by, so, our expectations were for a group of people depicting the Bethlehem scene outside of a church. We were told to "Go early!", as it would be crowded.
We arrived at a huge outdoor nursery with large grounds and a huge parking lot. There were many there waiting for it to open, and booths selling hot chocolate, a stage, musicians and pony rides out front. We got in line.
At 6:00, we were taken by a "shepherd", through a beautiful white lights-lined path in groups of about 20. Each "station" had a set of some kind, and people in costume, acting out a scene of the story. We began with the prophet Isaiah:
Next we arrived at the home of Mary in Nazareth: We found her sweeping, when an angel appeared and told her she would have the Son of God. Joseph was also visited by the angel and he agreed to take Mary for his wife.
As we made our way toward Bethlehem, (along the beautifully lit grounds of the nursery), we were stopped by several Roman soldiers, who demanded we pay our taxes. They had some cute interactions with children in the crowd.
Finally, we arrived in Bethlehem, along with Mary and Joseph, and their donkey, but there was no room at any inn:
We circled a huge grassy area with a flock of real sheep, and some shepherds, when in the sky, appeared another angel, and suddenly, from the darkness, a group of angels singing. (It was really cool, how they did this!)
We kept walking along the path with our shepherd as a guide until we arrived at a stable with Mary, Joseph, a REAL baby Jesus, a couple more shepherds and a goat or two.
I thought that was the end, but as we rounded the next curve in the path, there was a huge amphitheater, and a scene where the King decided to round up all male babies in the land.
Next we saw three kings on their way to visit the baby Jesus. The camel was VERY cool!
Again, I thought this was the end, but the last scene jumped ahead a few decades and depicted an empty tomb and the resurrection. Since this is a Christmas story, my photos will stop here. When we came off the path, there were booths with tamales, crafts, etc. or children could watch a musical puppet show or ride the ponies. It was a very cool holiday event that is free to the public.