These groups will participate in the annual Christmas Nativity program and candlelight ceremony to be held in the Layton High School Auditorium at 6 p.m.
The free hour-long concert will feature groups from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church choir, Westminster Presbyterian Church Bell Choir, Layton Christian Academy band, Davis Master Chorale, Layton High School Laytones, Valley View LDS Ward, Mountain View Baptist Church and the Layton High School Brass Band.
Each group will perform two numbers.
Following the concert, attendees are asked to join in a candlelight walk across the street, culminating at the Nativity, which is next to the old Catholic Education Center, behind the LDS Seminary building next to Commons Park.
“With lighted candles, everybody will join in singing Silent Night,” said Becky Pope, co-chair of the event with Fred Messie, who started the event five years ago.
Light refreshments will be served afterward in the old Education Center, where people are invited to mingle.
“It started small,” Pope said of the event, but while 450 people were expected last year, more than 1,000 participated, with even more expected this year.
It started when St. Rose, Westminster and the LDS Church decided to solicit donations to purchase a Nativity scene that could be placed on private (church-owned) property, near the city’s holiday display.
The city’s display has grown to more than 300,000 lights, filling much of Commons Park. While intended to celebrate the season, it has always followed a non-religious theme. That display draws thousands of visitors each year, including from surrounding communities.
“Each year we try to get more people involved, different participants working with us,” Pope said. “We always turn our lights on the night before the city does, as a way to further identify the separation of church and state.
“We noticed that Christmas seems to be so commercialized, (forgetting) the reason for the season,” Pope said, adding that the Nativity is “just a reminder” of the “real reason for the season.”
She called the event “just a way for people in the community to get together.”
Westminster Presbyterian provides the candles while St. Rose offers up the hot chocolate, and the combined group provides cookies.
Layton Mayor Steve Curtis will serve as emcee.
The city lighting ceremony,, meanwhile, will take place Monday, Nov. 21 with a program at Layton High School. It will include musical numbers from local groups and schools. The lights will be lit about 6:30 p.m.
That display will be open through Jan. 1.