Holiday Happenings 2019: See hundreds of crèche sets at Festival of Nativities

photo by: Elvyn Jones

Lea Hoover, of Lawrence, views some of the more than 300 nativity scenes on display Dec. 4, 2016 at the Centenary United Methodist Church's annual Festival of Nativities.

A staple of the Lawrence holiday season, the Festival of Nativities will return soon to Centenary United Methodist Church.

By the time this year’s festival opens on Dec. 7, the church at 245 N. Fourth St. will have transformed into a softly lit metropolis of more than 300 crèche sets made of varying materials in different shapes and sizes. The nativity sets come from every continent on Earth except Antarctica.

The church will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 28. In addition to the weekend viewings, the collection will be open to visitors from from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.

The festival itself is free, though the church does generate modest funds from its gift shop, which will be stocked with homemade cookies, candies and other items. Hot cider also will be available.

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