Live nativities will bring the Christmas story to life at several locations this year.
Some events are elaborate with actors in Biblical costumes, real animals, lights, and numerous props. In alphabetical order, the following are a few examples of spots to visit in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
Cross Lanes United Methodist, 5320 Frontier Drive, will present a live nativity from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13, 14 and 15. Organizer Kim McHenry said this marks the fifth year for the youth to present the event, which draws numerous spectators over the three-day period.
"We are always amazed at the number of people who drive through," McHenry said. "We have 50 to 100 every night. It's a good reminder of what the season is all about. The kids love getting close to the animals.'
Animals are borrowed from area farmers, and "you never know what you're going to get," said McHenry, who expects sheep and goats.
There will be camel cutouts, a stable and backdrops built by the men of the church, and about 15 youth age 12 to 18 in Biblical attire. The atmosphere will include a fire and hot chocolate. Everything is free.
The church website is www.crosslanesumc.com, and the telephone number is 304-776-3081.
Davis Creek Church of the Nazarene will have its 15th annual drive-through living nativity, "Lights of Bethlehem," from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15, 16 and 17.
Connie Oxley, director, said the event includes buildings, lights, props, live animals and about 100 people in Biblical costumes. The popular event draws hundreds of spectators every night with police officers on hand to direct traffic.
Setting up the buildings begins in early November, and finishing touches are added right up until opening night. Live animals rented from Tracy Pursley of Ripley will include a donkey, llamas, sheep, goats, and a cow. Camels will be depicted with cutouts.
While the event is free, donations will be accepted.
Davis Creek Church of the Nazarene is located at 102 Nazarene Drive in South Charleston. To reach the church, take Corridor G past the shops at Dudley Plaza and turn right at the India Center. At the top of the hill, turn left on old Route 119. The church is located a short distance down that road on the right.
The website for the church is www.daviscreek.org, and the telephone number is 304-744-0863.
Poca United Methodist Church, 112 Silver Street in Poca, has had a live nativity for 38 years, said organizer Johnie Pat Brown.