Early on Tuesday afternoon, a tired Jean Freeman had just arrived back home when we reached her on the phone.
“How’s the set up going.” I asked her.
“All done,” she said.
A group of 8 women spent all day Monday unpacking over 300 Nativity Scenes, and started placing them on shelving and tables that they had set up over the weekend. Working with Nativities that came from around the corner, and around the world, they carefully placed them so they would make an inviting display for the crowds who will be coming to see them on Friday evening, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon this week.
“Four of us were back this morning finishing up the display and we got it all done. Now we wait until Friday,” Jean said.
Jean Freeman, with her partners Kris Caird and Cindy McMahon, has been at the centre of 101 Nativities since it was established 9 years ago. The group gets together in September each year to start planning. They add more Nativities each year and each year the attendance tends to go up as well. The event now draws about 250 people. It is all free, and some of the best refreshments anywhere are served for free as well. Children also have an opportunity to work on their own Nativities in the craft room, while their parents have a chance to take a careful look at the displays.
“I think a lot of people enjoy it and make it the start of their Christmas season. They look forward to it” said Jean.
The Cole Lake Free Methodist Church is located at 8 White Lake Road (at Road 38). It runs on Friday, November 23 from 6:30pm-8:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 23 and 24) from 1pm-3pm.