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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Live Nativity, complete with Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the Wise Men, and baby Jesus, will be displayed in a life-sized Nativity outside the LDS Church on S Norma Street. / Laura Austin File Photo

Ridgecrest Interfaith Nativity Festival this weekend

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–

All are welcome to view a Live Nativity outside of and numerous Nativities inside 1031 S. Norma Street on Friday, December 8, from 5 pm to 8 pm and again on Saturday, December 9, from 3 pm to 8 pm.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is always looking for ways to serve the community, especially this time of year. In previous years, they had a Messiah concert and a concert where several groups from various churches and Burroughs High School took the stage to sing while the community sipped hot chocolate and enjoyed the concert.

More than a year ago, members of the Communication Council Committee at LDS were brainstorming about what to do for the community for Christmas 2023. They decided upon an Interfaith Nativity Festival. This takes a lot of collaboration and teamwork, but the efforts will surely be worth it. Tasha Chandler, Community Outreach Coordinator, tells us, “People are donating their Nativities to be shared. The community is welcome to come and see all of the different Nativity displays. There are going to be many different types. We have a Winnie the Pooh collection and some rubber duckies, along with some nicer ones that are just really pretty porcelain, wood, and ceramic. You name it, we’ve got it. One woman has over 100 in her private collection, and she is sharing about ten of them.”

When members of the LDS congregation heard about the Nativity Festival, they were reminded of a similar festival in Palmdale/Lancaster a few years ago. Since that festival was in a region that was highly populated, there were a large number of displays. Chandler says, “This is a lot smaller because we’re a smaller town.”

Folks are likely familiar with the LDS Live Nativity. Chandler tells us, “We’ve done this every year. We have a large display where people represent Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the Wise Men. It is a life-sized Nativity outside with music.” Historically, people have been able to drive by to see the display; this year, it will be different, and it will not face the street. They have moved the Live Nativity to the edge of the sidewalk so people can easily walk up. That way, “it’s not so tricky to try to navigate the grass and the hill. And everybody can see what’s happening outside with the Live Nativity and come inside to see the rest of them.”

Chandler is grateful to all of the volunteers who are sharing their Nativities, their time, and their talent.