Nativity scenes abound at Creche Fest
‘His Light’ is theme for annual event in Lancaster
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]hoo.com
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
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 www.avcreche.org for details and schedule of performers.
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.
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.