A live outdoor nativity display that will allow visitors to get out and observe several sights and refreshments, or that can be enjoyed as others drive through it, will be held Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro.
The church is located at 1139 Northview Drive and the nativity display will be open from 6-9 p.m.
This will be the first year for the display that was the brainchild of church member Kathryn Cox.
“I think she may have seen it elsewhere and thought it would be great to add some of own flare here and bring it to Hillsboro,” Kathryn’s mother, April Cox, said.
The tree-lined driveway leading to the display will be decorated in lights, and there will be a manger scene with live animals and actors, a field of sheep in a wooded area near the parking lot behind the church, an angel perched on top of the church building roof, and a running narrative about the birth of Jesus that will start over approximately every 15 minutes. At another end of the parking lot there will be carolers singing Christmas songs and in another location there will be a “snack shack” where visitors can get free hot cider, hot chocolate and other snacks.
“People can park and walk through or drive past and take it all in,” April said.
She said the plan is to make the nativity display an annual event and to add something new each year, like maybe the three wisemen next year.
“Our dream would be to have a camel someday, but this year it will be sheep and a donkey,” April said.
She said her daughter’s idea was readily received by the church and its interim minister, and that 25 to 30 people have volunteered to help with the nativity display. The idea behind the display, she said, is to reach out to the community and make the nativity scene accessible to people who may not be comfortable entering a church building, but would like to drive through and observe the display.
“We’re always looking for ways to get outside the church building and reach out to the community. We have a basketball camp in the summer that’s pretty successful, so we were looking for an outreach in the winter and the church really got behind this idea and we took it and ran with it,” April said. “Of course, first and foremost, we want to share the true meaning of Christmas with the community.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.