Through the weekend, angels will be singing from on high … in the trees, that is.
Along with being able to sing well, these angels also happen to be the cast members agile enough to make into the trees along the route of the upcoming live outdoor nativity, said Corrie Jankeviciene, whose 18-year-old daughter is one of the angels.
This live outdoor nativity event will take place from 5:30–8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 18–20, at 1280 20 Road, in Fruita. Admission is free and donations are accepted.
This is the second year for the event, which is organized by an informal group of more than 35 neighbors and friends who put together costumes, create props, tend animals, act in the scenes and serve cookies and cocoa.
Last year, they thought a few people might show up to their little event. They were surprised and overwhelmed when more than 400 turned out, Jankeviciene said.
Some people even waited an hour or more before being able to tour the nativity stations featuring shepherds with their flocks by night, the angels, the innkeeper and then the stable where the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph could be found.
This year, and even with COVID-19, the group is ready for hundreds of visitors and has expanded the event with a tour station featuring the wise men and with more activities for visitors as they wait for their tour time, Jankeviciene said.
When visitors arrive, they need to register their group for a tour — tour groups will be limited to 12 people to allow for social distancing on the hay wagon that will them partway through the stations, she said.
While waiting for their tour, visitors can listen to stories, sing Christmas carols by a fire or check out a petting zoo that includes specialty sheep known for their exotic wool, Jankeviciene said.
When their group is called, visitors will be taken by a guide on the tour via a hay wagon pulled by an ATV — the tractor was too big and noisy, Jankeviciene said.
The story line is basically that each tour group is made up of travelers going to Bethlehem because of the Roman census that brought Joseph and Mary to the town, she said.
As the tour goes through a small valley, the “travelers” see the shepherds, wise men and angels, Roman guards and others. The cast members at each station are either family members or are spaced out as to meet COVID-19 guidelines, she said.
A tour takes about 35 minutes and the last part, which includes the manger scene, must be walked, so good shoes are recommended, she said.
Dressing warmly also is a must for this event as everything is outside and it is cold, she said.
At the end of the tour, there will be prepacked cookies and hot cocoa for everyone.
It has been a tough year, Jankeviciene said, and Christmas offers hope with a story that also has many difficult situations.
It’s a reminder than while things might be scary, “we’re coming through this,” she said.