Live Nativity: A Centre County tradition

December will mark the 26th time Bald Eagle Valley Community United Methodist Church will present its live Nativity.

The public is invited to see a reenactment of the Nativity for free, as volunteers perform the popular Christmas Bible scene.

The Rev. Ron Baker said two 20-minute shows will be held at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at Eagle Tire and Towing, 1049 S. Eagle Valley Road in Boggs Township.

Baker, who started at the church in July, said he was also asked earlier in November to be a part of the live Nativity, but doesn’t know his part yet.

“It’s something really special for us and the community,” he said. “It takes a lot of people to make this happen.”

About a dozen church members and other community residents will be a part of the live Nativity, while a couple dozen volunteers will also be at the shows to answer questions for viewers.

Live animals will also be part of the show. Animals are donated to the event from local farms, Baker said.

“It seems like it gets a really positive response,” Baker said.

Because of its popularity, the church will be setting up a second set of bleachers this year, Baker said.

“It’s one of those things you don’t see everywhere,” Baker said. “It’s become a tradition here.”

The live Nativity is a good chance for the public to experience the story in a new way, Baker said.

“As a pastor, I see people that have heard the Christmas story so often that they’re numb to it, but when you have a visualization, it can help people grasp what really happened,” Baker said.