13th Annual Interfaith Crèche Exhibit featuring the Star of Bethlehem
The Elko Regional Interfaith Christmas Crèche Exhibit opens a little early this year. The 13th annual exhibit, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, begins Thursday, November 30 and runs through Sunday, December 3.
The interdenominational exhibit is under new leadership this year, with Sandy Ballard as the newly named Crèche Committee Chair. Ballard’s vision for the Crèche this year is to see more of the community attend and participate in the exhibit and the performances.
She encourages those who have attended or participated in the exhibit before to personally invite friends and neighbors, especially those who have recently moved to the area, or who have not yet attended. A personal invitation was how she and her family first became acquainted with the exhibit.
Each year the exhibit has a different focus. This year’s feature is the Star of Bethlehem, one of the signs given of Christ’s birth, and directed the wise men Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Ballard said that she sees the star not only was what guided the wise men in biblical times, but is also a light to guide us to Christ in our day.
With this focus, along with nativities and nativity-themed items and artwork, the exhibit is looking for the community to share items that depict the Star of Bethlehem either on its own, or as part of a nativity display.
Any piece that depicts part of the Christmas story is welcome at the Crèche Exhibit, including, figurines, tree toppers, artwork, quilts or banners, ornaments, family keepsakes, and hand-crafted items. Those wishing to share and display nativities and Stars of Bethlehem at the exhibit may set up their items on Wed, November 29, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm prior to the exhibit’s opening on Thursday.
Many of the school and community musical groups that have been regular performers during the exhibit will be returning to share their talents and provide beautiful music which enhances the display of 100s of nativities. Two new groups added this to this year’s musical performances are the 3 + 1 Saxophone Quartet, and the Music Mosaics String Quartet.
The musical performances begin Thursday and Friday evenings at 5:00 pm, Saturday morning at 11:00 am, and on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm Sunday’s music includes the annual Messiah Sing-A-long, now in its twenty-fourth year.
The exhibit is again pleased to partner with Joshua Tree Shelter in collecting donations for the homeless in our community. Jennifer Kidwell, from Joshua Tree, stated that she was absolutely thrilled with the volume of donations that came in at the Crèche last year. It touched her deeply to see such an increase of community support, and felt that many more hearts are turning toward lifting and helping our homeless by providing them with what they desperately need for the winter months.
Boots and food gift cards are the most needed items, however socks, warm winter clothing such as gloves, hats with ear flaps, and coats, along with winter-rated sleeping bags, and hand warmers are also needed and appreciated. Kidwell said the gift cards to restaurants, including coffee shops and fast food establishments, gives our homeless opportunities to come in out of the cold and enjoy a meal, which is an enormous luxury for them.
The exhibit is always looking to involve more people to help make the exhibit a success. Help is needed with set up, clean up as well as during exhibit. Ballard welcomes all volunteers who would like to be a part of the Crèche Exhibit, to share their talents, assistance, or. “It’s the little things, like helping and including others, that really bring people and neighborhoods together,” she said. Those wishing to help may volunteer through justserve.org.
The 13th Annual Exhibit is open each day from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints West Stake Center, 3001 North Fifth Street.
Additional information about the exhibit and a complete musical performance schedule visit www.elko.creche.org, facebook.com/elkocreche.
Musical Performances Schedule:
Thursday, November 30th
5:00 p.m. Spring Creek High School High Expectations Choir
6:00 p.m. Penny Nielson Piano School
7:30 p.m. 3+1 Saxophone Quartet
Friday, December 1st
5:00 p.m. Adobe Middle School
6:00 p.m. Elko High School Choraliers
6:30 p.m. Sing-along with the Elko High School Choraliers
7:00 p.m. Music Mosaics String Quartet
Saturday, December 2nd
11:00 a.m. Paula Jenkins Piano School
1:00 p.m. Mountain View Elementary School
2:00 p.m. TBA
3:00 p.m. TBA
4:00 p.m. Cat-erific Music School
5:00 p.m. Memmott Music School
Sunday, December 3rd
4:00 p.m. The Elko Handbells
5:00 p.m. 24th Annual Messiah Sing-along
7:00 p.m. Christmas Devotional with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, including inspirational Christmas Messages (via satellite)