Live Nativity opens Thursday at Iredell County Fairgrounds
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The 14th year of Troutman’s Live Nativity will begin Thursday night, with a large contingent of spectators expected to move through the Iredell County Fairgrounds to see the depiction of Christ’s life and works to ring in the reason for the Christmas season.
The community is invited to come view this free exhibition, which will continue on Friday and Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.
The scenes depict the prophet Isaiah foretelling Jesus’s birth to Christ’s ascension to his heavenly throne. The participants act out crucial moments with musical accompaniment at times for the visitors who drive slowly through the scenes.
Members of Troutman Baptist, Westwood Baptist, Bethel Baptist, Union Grove Christian, and First United Methodist Churches participate in this large scale event. About 3,000 cars pass through the grounds, viewing the scenes with live actors and animals.
Volunteers began constructing the sets on Monday. Troutman Baptist does volunteer upkeep at the fairgrounds throughout the year to compensate for its use over these three days.
The event has 150 to 170 volunteers participating in the various scenes.
Founder Stephanie Shaw said they were inspired to do this event because of the church’s mission to spread the word of Christ. "Our church sends lots of mission trips all over the world, but the Bible says, 'Go to your Jerusalem first.' Troutman is our Jerusalem. We wanted to share the story of Jesus."
After coming up with the idea, Shaw knew the church could do it, but the event has grown exponentially from the original group of 30 people, with many hands now building sets, making costumes and depicting Bibical figures.