Famed living Nativity next week In Bethlehem

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By Sharon Warner

By Phyllis McLaughlin

For many area residents, it just isn’t Christmas without a visit to the living Nativity scene in Bethlehem in Henry County.
The event, which has been held every year since 1959, is sponsored by the tiny city’s three churches – Bethlehem Baptist, Bethlehem United Methodist and Point Pleasant Christian.

“We’re pretty proud of it,” said Kevin Croxton, a member of the organizing committee, adding that he could think of only one year that weather forced them to cancel. “Of course, we don’t do it for any other reason but for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Croxton said 144 people will participate, divided into groups of 12 characters – Mary, Joseph, three angels, the Three Wise Men and four shepherds – standing in 50-minute shifts.

A supporting cast also will be on hand to help direct traffic, provide the actors with refreshments and help with costume changes. “Practically the whole community is involved,” he said.

The live Nativity, which is free to the public, will be on display from 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday through Christmas Day.