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Hundreds turn out for annual Living Nativity

Actors portraying Joseph (Travis Renney), an angel (Lydia Renney), Mary (Sara Renney) and one of the wise men (Loretta Lundy) were part of the annual Living Nativity Saturday evening at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Despite bitterly cold winds Saturday evening, hundreds of people walked through The Living Nativity at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria.

"We had a great turnout this year," said Greg Tvrdik, First Lutheran's director of church administration. "We counted 328 people during the walk through from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., and 385 cars that came through the drive-through portion."

Around 1,400 people were estimated to have viewed the nativity scene this year.

The 33rd annual event features live characters and animals, including a donkey and two camels, and recreats events leading up to the birth of Jesus. Church members dressed as Mary and Joseph, along with shepherds, wise people and Bethlehem villagers during the Living Nativity.

Roger Thalman, chairman of The Living Nativity Committee, said First Lutheran's Living Nativity is the second-oldest nativity event in the state. A church in Rochester has the oldest event.

The annual event will continue next year but will be moved to the church's new location along County Road 46, near Woodland Elementary School.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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