The Greatest Story Ever Told

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Margaret Snider
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“There is something special about having the opportunity to be part of the greatest story ever told,” King said. All photos by Mark Spicer

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Photo by Mark Spicer

The Live Nativity - Everything Leads to the Stable

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - The Live Nativity is much more than a creche with real people in it.  With a cast of 70 each night, the outdoor presentation takes visitors through the story of the Nativity, past shepherds watching their flocks and the three kings searching for the child, into the city of Bethlehem.  Choirs of angels sing, and recorded narration accompanies the action.  “All aspects of this event, from the traffic flow, to the movement of the cast, have been designed with one purpose in mind:  everything leads to the stable,” said Kristen King, creative director for the event. 

Production assistant Ashley Wagstaff said that her favorite part is knowing that they have live babies in the Nativity. Wagstaff and the “baby liaison” recruit six babies who will be between the ages of 6 and 10 weeks at the time of the performances.  Each night three of the babies are present with their moms, waiting to be chosen for the entrance as the baby Jesus, one for each of the five performances.  “Whichever baby is happy, and set, and sleeping, that’s who goes on next,” Wagstaff said.  “What I love is when they finally realize that it’s a real baby, you hear little kids say, ‘Baby Jesus is real!’” 

Brent Horrocks and 12-year-old son Craig are shepherds in the cast this year.  Each Christmas he and his family read the Bible story and re-enact the Nativity at home just for themselves, with homemade costumes.  “We know the story, but seeing it in a large scale production like this with professional costumes and lighting and cast,” Horrocks said, “it really brings home to you what a wonderful event it was.” 

The Folsom California Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present five performances each night for four nights, starting every half hour from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., December 7-10.  Reservations are recommended, but not required.  The location is 2100 California Circle, Rancho Cordova, which is across Folsom Boulevard from the Folsom Auto Mall.  Turn onto Birkmont Drive and follow signs to the parking for the Live Nativity. 

“There is something special about having the opportunity to be part of the greatest story ever told,” King said.  “. . . Sometimes the commercialism of the holiday overruns Christmas itself.  This event, in its beautiful setting, provides those much-needed moments to reflect on what is most important – the birth of Jesus Christ.

An average of 6,500 visitors attended the event each year in the two years since it began.  Admission is free. 

For more information and to make reservations, go to www.LiveNativity.org.  Plenty of parking is available and the Live Nativity is wheelchair accessible.

“There is something special about having the opportunity to be part of the greatest story ever told,” King said.  All photos by Mark SpicerPhoto by Mark SpicerPhoto by Mark Spicer