Na­tiv­ity scenes abound at Creche Fest

‘His Light’ is theme for an­nual event in Lan­caster

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints is plan­ning its an­nual Christ­mas Crèche Art and Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, with its hun­dreds of dis­plays of the na­tiv­ity scene from around the world, and joy­ful hol­i­day mu­si­cal per­for­mances.

This theme for this year’s fes­ti­val, the 26th con­ducted by the church, is “His Light.”

The fes­ti­val at­tracts thousands of vis­i­tors each year.

“We just think it’s a re­ally nice way for the com­mu­nity to kind of start off the hol­i­day sea­son,” said Karen Gil­more, di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Af­fairs.

Fes­ti­val co-chair­woman Paula Van Camp es­ti­mated there could be about 500 na­tiv­i­ties at this year’s fes­ti­val.

“We don’t know for sure un­til we ac­tu­ally set up the Wed­nes­day be­fore the fes­ti­val,” Van Camp said. “It’s all done by vol­un­teers, so peo­ple do sign up but a lot of peo­ple just come and reg­is­ter that day. It’s a va­ri­ety each year.”

Any­one in­ter­ested in dis­play­ing their na­tiv­ity can email the fes­ti­val at [email protected]­

The free, fam­ily-friendly fes­ti­val is sched­uled from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 6, and con­tin­ues from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 7, and 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Lan­caster East Stake Cen­ter, at 44330 27th St. East.

A chil­dren’s room will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8. It fea­tures games and hand­son ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clu­ding cos­tumes for vis­it­­ing chil­dren to dress as their own na­tiv­ity scene. Chil­dren must be ac­com­panied by

an adult.

The fes­ti­val fea­tures hun­dreds of na­tiv­ity scenes from around the world, rang­ing from the sub­lime to the whim­si­cal.

“Made out of every kind of thing you can imag­ine; it’s re­ally amaz­ing,” Van Camp said.

There have been na­tiv­i­ties made from ash, nuts, wood, porce­lain, grass, rocks, Le­gos and even Twinkies.

“We don’t still have that one,” Van Camp said of the Twinkie na­tiv­ity.

The three-day fes­ti­val is a ma­jor un­der­tak­ing that is put on wholly by hun­dreds of vol­un­teers.

More than 40 mu­si­cal events fea­tur­ing more than 700 per­form­ers are sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate in this year’s fes­ti­val, from area schools, churches, choirs, en­sem­bles and soloists by pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur mu­si­cians, dancers and speak­ers.

One of the fa­vorites is the High School Cho­rale Fes­ti­val, sched­uled for 7 p.m. Dec. 6. It fea­tures choirs from An­te­lope Val­ley, East­side, High­land, Knight, Lan­caster, Palmdale and Quartz Hill high schools. Each of the groups per­forms its own set, fol­lowed by a fi­nale that in­cludes all seven choirs ac­com­pa­nied by the Knight High School orches­tra.

“They’re all stel­lar,” Van Camp said.

Another fa­vorite is the Mes­siah Sing-Along, in which at­ten­dees are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate, at 5 p.m. Dec. 8. The sing-along is led by David Newby, artis­tic di­rec­tor of the An­te­lope Val­ley Sym­phony Orches­tra and Mas­ter Cho­rale.

The ac­com­pa­ny­ing orches­tra will be com­prised of mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and other ar­eas of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Those who want to join in the group choir num­bers are in­vited to sing with the con­gre­ga­tion present in the au­di­ence.

“This is some­thing we do as a gift for our com­mu­nity, and the peo­ple who per­form do it as a gift for their com­mu­nity,” Van Camp said.

Visit for de­tails and sched­ule of per­form­ers.

Val­ley Press files

Rey Dean (left) of Llano, and Mar­cia Abbate of Palmdale com­pare the many na­tiv­ity scenes on dis­play at the 2017 An­te­lope Val­ley Christ­mas Creche Art and Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at The Church of Je­sus Christ Lat­ter-day Saints in Lan­caster. This year’s event be­gins Dec. 6.

Val­ley Press files

Pa­trons ex­am­ine art­work at the 2017 An­te­lope Val­ley Christ­mas Creche Art and Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at The Church of Je­sus Christ Lat­ter-day Saints in Lan­caster.

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