KAYSVILLE— The Kaysville Nativity Celebration is saying goodbye.
According to Nola Child, who has been with the celebration since its founding in 2003 and took over leading it in 2011, she’s stepping down from her celebration responsibilities after this year. If no one else takes it over, the celebration set to run Nov. 25 from 2 – 9 p.m. and Nov. 26 from 11 – 9 p.m. will be the last one the Kaysville Tabernacle sees.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me,” said Child. “I love the music, I love the setting, and I’ve felt like this is a way I could tell of my love for Jesus Christ. I’ve really enjoyed it, but I want to spend more time with my family.”
This year, however, is one last chance for Davis County residents to experience the event for themselves. The centerpiece of the celebration is the display of hundreds of nativity scenes from both the U.S. and places as far away as Madagascar. There are also several different styles of nativity scenes in the collection, including wall hangings, that people have donated to the exhibit.
“There are a lot of people who love nativities and collect them all year round when they go around the world,” said Child. “Some people have only one or two treasured nativities that have been in their family for generations.”
No matter where the nativity is from, she said that the exhibit helps focus visitors’ thoughts on what’s most important during the holiday season.
“It tells of his birth, and shows how it can add to our Christmas devotions,” said Child.
The celebration also traditionally focuses on some aspect of Davis County history. This year’s history exhibit will consist of a period Christmas village as well as several individual rooms, leading visitors on a journey through the decades.
The first room will feature a Victorian Christmas tree, complete with mannequins and Victorian furniture, the second room will feature a mother decorating a Christmas tree in a 1930s kitchen, and the third room will feature a lime-green living room from the 1960s with a lit aluminum tree.
“Between the rooms we’ll have stuff from the different time periods,” said Christine Beppe, who is responsible for the exhibits. “It’s kind of like Christmas through the ages.”
In addition, there will be a full rotation of musical performances throughout both days of the festival in the tabernacle chapel. Groups who have regularly performed at the celebration include the Davis Master Chorale and the Beehive Statesmen.
There will also be various children’s activities, including a nativity-themed craft. In addition, there will be a live children’s nativity that some smaller visitors may be allowed to participate in.
“It’s a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season,” said Child.
With her final season approaching, however, she can’t help but think about the past as well as the present.
“I loved working with Chloe Thompson and her husband Roy, who founded the festival,” said Child. She took over leadership of the festival from Thompson, who stepped down in 2010 to focus on other responsibilities.
Kaysville Tabernacle is located at 198 W. Center Street in Kaysville. If anyone is interested in taking over the celebration, they can contact Child at firstname.lastname@example.org.