Nativities from around world displayed at annual crèche festival

CEDAR CITY — Hundreds of nativities owned by Cedar City community members will be on display during the annual Cedar City Crèche Festival at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Canyon View Stake Center located at 1985 N. Main Street in Cedar City, Sunday, from 4-9 p.m.

The Crèche Festival will feature around 300 nativities from around the world, along with live nativity and Christmas music performed by local musical groups. This year’s performers will include the Southern Utah Handbell Choir, Canyon View Stake Primary Choir, Cedar High School Madrigals, CHS Girls’ Choir, Canyon View High School Madrigals, CVHS Percussion Ensemble, CVHS violinists and several LDS ward choirs and individual performers.

Over the past 15 years, the Crèche Festival has continued to grow, from 1,000 visitors in its first year to 6,000 visitors in 2014. The event is intended to share and celebrate the Church’s feelings about Jesus Christ.

Every type and size of crèche will be on display during the viewing time and will allow visitors to reflect on how artists, different cultures and families have celebrated this holiday season. To allow for more visitors, improve the experience and allow for better flow of traffic, the Canyon View Stake church members have added another hour to the viewing time this year.

When local musician and Canyon View Stake member Dale Sessions first presented the idea to the Canyon View Stake leadership, he had grand plans to involve the whole town and, over time, collect large nativity pieces that could be used year after year.

“He had the idea of having lots of crèches to display and lots of music to entertain people as they enjoyed the holiday spirit of that evening,” Evan Vickers, a former member of the Canyon View Stake leadership, said.

As the event continued to grow, Sessions enlisted the help of different musical groups, and now the evening has become an opportunity to sit and enjoy the musical spirit of the season.

As the Vickers have watched many different volunteers from the LDS church prepare and plan this evening throughout the years, they have found satisfaction in watching this event involve the entire community.

“It was always priceless to watch the smiles on people’s faces as they spent an hour or two on that evening just thinking about the Savior, listening to wonderful music, visiting with friends and feeling the true Christmas spirit,” Vickers said. “When the decision was explored to only have it every other year, a lot of people were very disappointed. It has been a wonderful event for our community and brings so much joy to so many people.”

To find out more about the Crèche Festival, visit their Facebook page.

The event is free and open to the public.

Event details

  • What: Cedar City Crèche Festival
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 13, 4-9 p.m.
  • Where: Canyon View Stake Center, 1985 N. Main St., Cedar City
  • Cost: Free

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