Mormon church nativity pageant a Valley tradition

A special outdoor presentation that has become a Cowichan Valley holiday tradition will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday.

A special outdoor presentation that has become a Cowichan Valley holiday tradition will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Duncan Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’s annual nativity pageant on Dec. 22 and 23 is something that many in the Valley look forward to year after year.

Since 1992, friends and members of the area’s Mormon church have performed a heart-warming version of the biblical first Christmas story as a gift for Cowichan Valley residents.

They bring the story of Jesus’s birth to life on an atmospheric set in the back lot of their Tzouhalem Road church, which is located near Providence Farm.

The shepherds really can lie out in the fields and the wise men come from the far-away east in this production.

This outdoor theatre features a cast of more than two dozen adults and youth and is a delight to children as there are also live animals to add realism to the scene.

“We’ll have llamas and donkeys and sheep and goats,” said event spokesperson Carol Styles.

And as for the appearance of the angel chorus, it’s always a must-see.

“There are more and more angels every year. They were talking about that today. Apparently some kids come home from being away at school and still want to be in it. That’s how they end up with so many extra angels. It’s the same with the shepherds, too.”

There is a special treat this year: the Mary and Joseph are an actual couple so the audience can watch for a live baby in the show, she said.

Moving renditions of Christmas carols recorded by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra embellish the performance.

As the event occurs outdoors in December, ensure that every member of the family is warmly dressed and come ready for all weather.

“We’ll have metal chairs all lined up as usual outside for seating and if it’s raining, we’ll wipe them off to keep them as dry as possible,” Styles said.

A plastic garbage bag to put over a seat will be helpful if it’s been raining, though, so pack one if the evening is damp.

Admission to the shows is free and there are cookies and hot chocolate as well.

Performances are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Each show takes about half an hour to complete.

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