Live Nativity opens at Sweetapple Farm Saturday

File Photo Live goats at Sweetapple farm are a part of the live nativity each year just before Christmas.

VINCENT — Heading into the holiday weekend one farmer in Vincent is hoping the public comes by either Saturday or Sunday night to hear a special Christmas story.

“The community supports us all year long and this is our way of giving back at the end of the year and spreading a little Christmas joy,” explained Mona Barrett, owner of Sweetapple Farm.

For more than two decades the farm has hosted a live nativity sing-along in the Kestermeier Cattle Barn on the farm grounds with local churches sending congregation members to dress up as wise men, angels, shepherds and the Biblical characters Mary and Joseph.

“We love the Lord and the Christmas message is so important to us so this gives us a chance to remind the world of the message of Christ,” explained Sandy Pickrell, who has participated in the live nativity with three generations of her family for the last six years. “Our grandchildren and our son and his wife do it with my husband and I. Our son and his wife are generally Mary and Joseph.”

Kim Henry of Lighthouse Baptist Church said her congregation will send members Sunday night for the two performances as a reminder to the community that the holiday season is about more than presents.

“People enjoy singing the carols with their families, and kids sitting on the hay bales,” she explained. “My husband reads parts and sings and I’ve been everything from a wise man to an angel each year.”

Barrett said the reason she holds the nativity each night in the cattle barn is to provide that experience and perspective leading up to Christmas.

Live goats, and ducks, chickens and roosters will also be around, though all of the fowl will be penned.

“It’s very simple and down-home, but with the barn not heated people get to understand where Christ was born, in a barn with no running water,” described Barrett. “Nowadays babies are born inside where everything is clean, but there was nowhere for Mary and Joseph to stay except in the innkeeper’s stable.”

But no matter the weather both nights and for all four shows, there’s still hot chocolate available in the Christmas Market before and after each performance and a final opportunity to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“And we do have a donation box for the Western Washington County Food Pantry both nights too. We hope that people remember those who are less fortunate not only this time of year but all year round,” added Barrett.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights the farm will be open between 5:30 and 8 p.m. with readings and singing at 6:20 and 7:20 p.m. each night.

The event is free and open to the public.

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If You Go

* What: Live Nativity

* When: Saturday and Sunday at 6:20 and 7:20 p.m. both nights

* Where: Sweetapple Farm, Vincent

* Who: Free to the public, come sing carols and watch the Biblical story of Christmas put on by volunteers from Lighthouse Baptist Church, Living Faith Methodist Church and Reedsville Church of Christ

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