For the ninth consecutive year, the Jim Thorpe parishes of Ebenezer Evangelical, St. John's Lutheran In-The Heights, and St. Joseph's Catholic Church will stage a Live Nativity at Sam Miller's Field on North Avenue in the heights section of Jim Thorpe in conjunction with the first weekend of Olde Time Christmas in Jim Thorpe. The theme of Olde Time Christmas this year is "Light the Way."
The Live Nativity, which will take place on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4, from 7-9 p.m., is under the direction of Sharon Hontz, who is assisted by Jean Dunbar.
Church members and members of the National Honor Society of Jim Thorpe Area High School will re-enact what happened on the night that Christ was born, narrated from scripture, as taken from the Books of Luke and Matthew, and accompanied by appropriate carols for each scene. Also this year, Michael Trainer will be singing a solo at the manger.
The Rev. Jarad Rabold and the Rev. F. Peter Muhr will be offering the blessing.
The Holy Family this year in the manger for both nights will include Heather Blymire, and her 6-month old daughter, Ella, who will portray Mary and the baby Jesus. Heather, who now lives in Macungie, is the former Heather Moulthrop who is originally from Lehighton.
Following each presentation, guests will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies. There is no admission charge, but a free will offering will be acepted.
On Friday evening, cast members of the Live Nativity will participate in a parade, which will take place on West Broadway in downtown Jim Thorpe, starting at Immaculate Conception Church at 5:30 p.m.
The parade will end at the train station where the tree lighting ceremony will take place. The Holy Family will also be present in the gazebo at Josiah White Park during Friday's festivities.
Mary will be played by Mary Hipple, granddaughter of Karen Freeze, coordinator of Friday's parade. The king will be played by her father, Emerson Freeze. Baby Jesus will be portrayed by Hipple's son, Matthew Daniel Hipple; while the angel will be portrayed by his brother, Daniel Nevaeh Hipple. Jack James will portray the shepherd.
Parking for the Live Nativity will not be a problem as a free shuttle bus will be operating from the the train station beginning at 6:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the last pick up at 8:45 p.m.
The bus, which is courtesy of Getz Transportation and Carbon County Commissioner Charles Getz, will shuttle visitors back and forth, leaving approximately every 15 minutes.
Restroom facilities will be available at the field.