TROY — Returning for its second year, a live nativity is now open in the main barn at Fulton Farms on state Route 202, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The event, which opened Wednesday, is free to the public and will run from 2 to 8 p.m., daily, through Sunday, Dec. 23. Light refreshments are provided.
Event founder Craig Armstrong, an affiliate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, began the event 10 years ago in a smaller venue, but was able to move it to Fulton Farms in 2017.
“As a child in Kentucky, I really enjoyed the nativity every year,” Armstrong said. “When I moved up, more and more of the nativities started to disappear. I just found a lot of enjoyment in providing it for my local friends and neighbors. The church has been good, and the Fultons have been extremely good to us in allowing us to use this facility.”
On site are an assortment of live animals, including sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, a donkey and a seven-foot camel.
“The animals are all donated by folks to use during the event,” Armstrong said. “When you put it all together, it becomes a community nativity instead of just that of an individual church.”
Along with the animals and nativity display, various musical acts will perform Christmas songs each night.
Wednesday’s opening day featured vocalist Annie Matheson, an affiliate of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, along with members of the Latter Day Saints Youth Choir, of Piqua and Sidney.
Today, the Tipp City Fermatas will perform at 6 p.m.
Saturday’s performances will feature carols by various Miami County families.
Sunday, Dec. 23 will feature more than 50 members of the Latter Day Saints State Choir at 6 p.m., who will perform with piano accompaniment and a narration of the Christmas story.
Overall, event organizers have been encouraged by support for the event throughout the county and are hopeful it continues to grow each season.
“We just want to keep the spirit of Christ focused in the Christmas celebration,” Armstrong said. “It gives us an opportunity to surround ourselves within a humble environment and maybe give us a glimpse into what it might’ve been like 2,000 years ago.”
For information, visit www.fultonfarms.com or find Fulton Farms on Facebook.