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Church hosts annual Nativity Festival


December 13, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Volunteers participate as actors in the living nativity scene at the annual Arlington Nativity Festival on Dec. 8. From left, Spencer Andelin, Marko Jukanovich, Anna Murray and Faith Bailey.

More than 500 nativity scenes were set up at Arlington's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as part of the church's annual Arlington Nativity Festival.

The event, which is free to the public, is meant to get the community into the spirit of the holidays.

It was held this year from Dec. 8 to 10.

"We have put up over 500 nativities for display and invited the public to come in and just enjoy and jump into the spirit of Christmas," said Cheri Lynwoodson, one of the organizers of the event.

This is the sixth year for the event.

"It's kind of become the way jump-start Christmas too," said Lynwoodson.

"For us, Christmas is all about the birth of our savior and we just want to share that with everybody, because it helps everyone get in the proper spirit of why we celebrate Christmas Day," she said.

Lynwoodson said she also likes the community that comes into visit during the festival.

"We love doing it, and we love inviting the public coming in here," she said.

Local Brandy Spayth said she had never been to the festival before but was enjoying it this year.

"It's really good, it's pretty," she said.

Laurie O'Bryant, one of the organizers of the event, said that the nativities help light up the church.

"I love it right now when we've finished setting up and all the lights go on and it's just beautiful and there's such a wonderful feeling here now," she said.

There are a variety of different nativity scenes and Lynwoodson said she sets them up each year.

"I love discovering each new nativity. Maybe it was new this year, or maybe it's a new favorite that I've come to love," she said.

"I enjoy getting to see these beautiful nativities that people are willing to let us borrow for the weekend," she said.

She also enjoys seeing the unique or creative nativity scenes that people come up with.

This year includes one that is car themed, with piston parts and a used license plate..

"I just love it because it is so creative," said Lynwoodson.

Another new nativity scene this year was made with Lego bricks.

Christopher Andersson

From left, Lennon Spayth, Dexter Spayth and Sala Sommerfeldt look at some of the nativity scenes at the annual Arlington Nativity Festival on Dec. 8.

"One of my friends asked if we need more nativities and her seven-year-old son heard we might need more so he went upstairs and made a little Lego one," said Lynwoodson. "I love the simplicity of it because his heart was behind it."

There are also more extravagant nativity scenes, like one made with stained glass.

"They're all beautiful, from the most expensive to the most simple," said Lynwoodson.

Visitors can also visit some of the various rooms available at the church during the festival, including one that highlights a variety of holiday cookies, which are also available for eating.

"People like the cookies, that's a popular room," said O'Bryant.

Another room is used by families to take photos. "People can dress up in period costumes and make their own nativity picture there," said O'Bryant.

More information about the annual local tradition is available on their website at


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