|Herald photo by David Rossiter
Isabel and Chad Robertson act the parts of Mary and Joseph during a rehearsal for the annual Live Nativity production at the LDS East Stake Centre on 43 Street and Forestry Avenue Saturday.
For The Herald
A 28-year tradition returns to the city this year, looking to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season. The annual outdoor Christmas nativity pageant is presented by The Church of Latter-day Saints.
Alisa Takahashi said her first year directing the pageant has been a welcome challenge and a great way to give back to the community.
"This is our gift for the community this season and absolutely everyone is welcome," Takahashi said.
"We all love Santa and presents, but this gives us the opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas," said Takahashi.
This year's production was made possible by 130 volunteers. Takahashi said the community support for the production has been helpful and heart-warming.
Fabric donations from Marshall Fabrics, and the donation of scaffolding and bleachers are only a few of the ways the community has shown their support.
"I was really surprised at all the people who are willing to make this production possible. It takes many hands to create something like this," said Takahashi.
Going through the planning phases of the nativity pageant, Takahashi discovered that the nativity was missing a popular actor.
"Unfortunately, the donkey we previously used had gone to heaven," said Takahashi.
"We were scrambling to find a donkey with such short notice, and I decided to post and ad on Kijiji."
Takahashi thought her chances were slim, but within hours she received a reply.
Thistledown Donkeys, a Welling business that provides donkey and pony rides, came to the rescue.
"I was overjoyed when they said they were able to help us by bringing a donkey for our nativity," said Takahashi.
After months of hard work and organization, the cast and crew of the nativity pageant had one of their final rehearsals Saturday. Takahashi said although her directoral debut was a bit of a challenge at times, she is very happy with the end product.
"I can't wait. The volunteers and I invite everyone to come down and spend 15 to 20 minutes of their Christmas season enjoying the story being presented and let the Christmas spirit touch their hearts," said Takahashi.
The annual Christmas nativity pageant is open to the public and runs from Dec. 22-24, with performances every 20 minutes from 6-8 p.m.
The pageant takes place at the LDS East Stake Centre on Forestry Avenue off 43 Street South.