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Nativity returns to Crossroads

By Matt Russell

mrussell@postbulletin.com

For years a staple of the Christmas season in Rochester, the live nativity performance is returning to Crossroads College this weekend after a one-year hiatus.

The nativity, in which volunteers act out scenes from the birth of Jesus Christ as their audience drives by in vehicles, was canceled last year because of construction on campus. Last year’s cancellation marked the first time the nativity wasn’t held at Crossroads since the event started in 1993.

The nativity returns to Crossroads with an added scene in which the Magi ask King Herod where Jesus was born, said event coordinator Sharon Moreland. Real animals in the nativity will include llamas (to represent camels), sheep and a horse, she said.

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The nativity will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It won’t be the only one held in southeastern Minnesota this weekend. Others include:

• At Chateau Theatres, Rochester Covenant and Journey churches are teaming up to present a "living nativity" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The nativity, which is timed to coincide with the release of the movie "The Nativity Story," will include live animals outside the theater. Throughout the weekend in Chateau’s party room, which will be decorated like a manger, half-hour performances will be given that combine music, readings and scenes from the nativity story, according to the Rev. Rich Bontrager of Journey Church.

Performances are scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

• Another nativity performance will be held at the Milo Broadwater Farm, five miles southwest of Preston on Fillmore County Road 12, at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There is no charge for the nativity performances at Crossroads, Chateau and the Milo Broadwater Farm. Donations of non-perishable food items for the Channel One food shelf will be accepted at the entrance at Crossroads, but are not necessary to enter.

Another note about the nativity at Crossroads College, 920 Mayowood Road S.W.: Mayowood Road will be open only to one-way traffic during nativity hours, so enter from the west off Bamber Valley Road.

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