Johnson City Record Courier
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A Record in the Making?
Thursday, December 13, 2012 • Posted December 13, 2012

If the weather and crowds hold up, this may be a record attendance year for Johnson City’s Living Nativity Pageant. The crowds for the outdoor performances at the First United Methodist Church totaled just under 1,000 for the first weekend, sending organizers back to the record books for the previous attendance figures. They’re still calculating, but it appears the previous high was about 1,800 guests for the four nights, so good weather this weekend may put them over the top. Whether they come for the lights and stay for the show or vice-versa, many of the community’s holiday visitors clearly do both. The Friday and Saturday night audiences included people from all over the area, even such distant parts of Texas as Poland and Australia. The comment most often heard over cookies and hot chocolate after the performances was that it was more moving than expected, and bringing home to them the story of the birth of the Christ Child more than they had thought it would. Even with such unscheduled glitches as donkey’s finding their voices at quiet moments and sheep going on sit-down strike in mid-scene, and a Baby Jesus taking a personal and proprietary attitude toward the gifts of the Magi. The pageant, a 50-year-old gift to the community from the members of the church, has its final performances this Friday and Saturday nights every half hour from 6:30 to 8:30. The show, refreshments, and display of 120 nativity sets from around the world are free, as always.

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