Live Nativity brightens night

Published 8:42 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vehicles circled the Farmville Church of Christ building on 1401 Milnwood Road last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, watching from their windows as the scenes from the Nativity Story came to life.

What started as a live manger scene more than 15 years ago has become a multiple-scene saga that lines the entire width of the circular church, includes live animals and takes months to prepare.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

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The newest scene, Pastor Jim Price said, included King Herod’s palace, where guards, played by Chad Beggers and Antonio Pacheco, stand in between King Herod, played by Doug Allen.

Price said the community has shown enormous support of the annual event, which he estimates brings about 5,000 people throughout the three days.

Price said it is one of the ways the congregation serves the community.

“You do something no one else is doing and you do it well,” Price said, who credited the talents of the re-enactors for making the event come to fruition.

He said the Town of Farmville provided road cones and members of the Farmville Police Department to direct traffic.

The chilly weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the re-enactors, who gamboled through the village, held heads high with prestigious cunning or bowed in reverence.

Linda and Tucker Swanson, who were in the process of driving through the event, said they had siblings and in-laws who played various characters in the nativity story.

“It’s all in the family,” Linda said.

Edward Critzer, who played one of the wise men and was one of the event organizers, gestured to one of the other wise men who waved back to a small girl who waved through a car window.

“It’s the kids coming through, and it makes it all wonderful,” Critzer said about the reactions of the guests during the event.

Rachel Price directed the costuming and sets for the event.

“(It’s) a toss up between the wise men and manger,” Price said regarding her favorite sets.

“It tells the Christmas Story in a very living way,” Price said about the event.