SPRINGFIELD - The Springfield Area Nativity Theatre Association will retell the story of Christmas under the stars for the 27th season next week.
The pageant will be presented Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, with one performance at 7 p.m. each evening in Riverside Park.
The pageant retells the story of Jesus' birth, from the moment the angel appears to Mary announcing that she would bear a son, to the time the Wise Men are leaving Bethlehem.
This scene from the Christmas pageant in Springfield features camels.
The story is told in a half-hour program set in front of the Springfield home bleachers in the football field with beautifully designed backdrops, abode-type houses and a stable that take guests back more than 2,000 years ago.
Several hundred local people are involved as cast, chorus and stagehands. Outstanding features of the pageant are a choir, a live manger scene with a variety of animals, including camels, and a natural outdoor setting.
Guests will walk to the staging area along a path lighted with kerosene-burning lanterns, see townsfolk selling their wares, be counted by census takers, and greeted by Roman guards.
The pageant is a production of the Springfield Area Nativity Theatre Association (SANTA), a not-for- profit organization. The pageant is endorsed by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and all Springfield churches whose members give generously of their time and talents to stage the production.
There is no admission charge - a gift from the community of Springfield. There is ample seating in the north bleachers of the athletic field. Dress warmly and comfortably, and bring stadium blankets and warmers, if you wish.