BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON – ‘Tis the season for visual remembrances of the real meaning of Christmas and vast arrays of colorful light displays.
On Sunday and Monday, you can experience both in Layton.
The seventh annual Nativity Display will kick off with a Community Nativity Lighting Concert Sunday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Layton High School Auditorium, located at 440 Lancer Lane, also known as Wasatch Drive.
Spokesman Mark Bitner said the concert is intended as a multidenominational, faith-based observance.
The hour-long program will include an opening invocation, followed by music from the Bell Choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fruit Heights; choir from Faith Baptist Church, Layton; St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church choir, including a combination of English and Spanish musical numbers; and a choir from an area ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In addition, a choral group from a Layton elementary school will also sing, Bitner said.
“It is Christ-centered, not songs about Santa Claus,” he said.
A candlelight procession will follow from the high school across the street to property now owned by Layton City next to the LDS Seminary building. A nativity scene will be turned on and cookies and punch will be available.
The tradition was initiated by Layton resident Fred Meese, who wanted to augment the ever-growing lighting exhibit to the south of the seminary site, in Layton’s Commons Park.
About a half-million lights are included in the massive display, outlining various animal and fairy tale displays. The display covers about 10 acres of the park, or about the size of Temple Square, said Layton Recreation Supervisor Dave Thomas.
The city lighting ceremony will take place Monday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. Festivities will start with a program at Layton High School featuring Christmas carols from area school choirs. The lighting will take place after that, across the street in the park. Hot chocolate will be served, Thomas said.
New this year is an 8-foot tall Old Man Winter display, financed through donations from those who have visited the holiday display over the years, he said.
You can find Old Man Winter by the large park pavilion at the north end of the display.
The entire light display is free and provided as a public service by Layton City, but donations are accepted, Thomas said.
Hay rides are offered on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at dark until about 8 p.m., from Wasatch CrossFit, 283 E. Gentile, to the nearby park, through it, and back. A small fee is charged.
Rides will be free on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 6-8 p.m., as part of Layton’s Family Recreation Program.
Both displays will run through the holidays.