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First Lutheran's Living Nativity set for Alexandria on Sunday, Dec. 5

The drive-through only event will provide an up-close look at real camels, donkeys and sheep.

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A Living Nativity scene from 2019 at First Lutheran Church. (Echo Press file photo)

After missing a year because of the pandemic, First Lutheran Church in Alexandria will once again hold its Living Nativity in 2021.

Set for Sunday, Dec. 5, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., it will be a drive-through only event, said Greg Tvrdik, director of church administration for First Lutheran.

A cherished local Christmas-time event, the Living Nativity also draws people from other places. Tvrdik said he knows of visitors who come from the Brainerd lakes area and from Fargo just for this.

First Lutheran has been staging a nativity scene since 1984. It takes about 200 volunteers to set up the scenes, direct traffic, and play the parts of Mary and Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds, Tvrdik said. Sometimes a real baby plays the role of Baby Jesus, but this year a doll will stand in, he said. New actors take over periodically throughout the display.

“We do this as giving back to the community, to bring the nativity story to life,” he said. "It's a great way to kick off the holiday season."

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First Lutheran, with 2,500 members, does not lack for volunteers for this event, he said.

“There’s people that wait for the signup sheet to go up and pick their scene,” he said. “We have three or four generations coming to do a scene. It’s pretty cool.”

First Lutheran is at 1655 18th Ave. E. in Alexandria. It will be the second time it has had its Live Nativity at its new location after moving from downtown Alexandria.

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Children pet and fed three camels during First Lutheran Church's 2019 Living Nativity display. (Echo Press file photo)

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