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More than 1,000 Nativity scenes to fill Gainesville church this weekend
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Levi Horrocks helps assemble Nativity sets at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Monday, Nov. 19, on Riverside Drive. The church is once again hosting a huge display of Nativity scenes in late November and early December. - photo by Nick Bowman
Many people can remember a time during their childhood when they stood in the sanctuary at church and acted out the Christmas story. Some might have even stood outside in a stable — no matter the temperature — as Mary, Joseph, Jesus, a wise man, shepherd or angel while a donkey, camel or sheep grazed nearby. The Nativity scene, synonymous with Christmas and depicting Jesus’ birth, is likely still a staple in your grandmother’s home, your mother’s home and maybe even your own. But if it’s something you want to see a little more of, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Festival of the Nativity has you covered. “We are setting up over 1,000 Nativity sets in the church,” said George Wangemann, the church’s ward mission leader. “We’re going to fill up the gym, we're going to fill up some rooms inside the church, and then we’ve got another room ... I’m expecting between 1,100 and 1,200 Nativity sets at our festival.”