MT. VERNON — The United Methodist Children’s Home will hold its annual Live Nativity and Festival of Trees from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
Bobby Mooney, spiritual life and volunteer coordinator for UMCH, said the celebration is not only one of the home’s longest running events, but has also become a much-beloved tradition in the community.
“People look forward to it all year. They bring their kids,” Mooney said. “We try to position it in the year (so it’s) a kickoff to the Christmas season in a positive way.”
The Live Nativity portion of the event is in its ninth year and the Festival of Trees was added as a fundraiser for UMCH about five years ago.
Both programs are free and take place at the UMCH Main Campus at 2023 Richview Road.
However, funds are raised through a silent auction held during the Festival of Trees. The auction allows bidders to purchase decorated trees that are part of the festival.
This year’s Live Nativity will feature four still-life scenes performed by live volunteers along the circle drive outside UMCH.
The public can drive along the campus property to view the scenes or get out and walk.
One of the scenes depicts Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem and another features Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men.
Also, new to this year’s celebration will be a petting zoo outside with ponies and goats, said Marcus Holland, development coordinator for UMCH. Hot chocolate will also be served.
“It’s a great event for the holidays,” Holland said. “The event is exciting for everybody.”
The decorated trees for the Festival of Trees will be displayed inside the UMCH chapel complex and conference room.
All the trees are decorated and donated by local schools and organizations. Last year, 34 trees were provided and this year organizers are expecting close to 30.