The parish of St. Mary the Virgin in Vegreville decided to try something different this Advent. A number of parishioners and their rector enjoy collecting nativities from around the world. We decided it would be fun to display our nativities at the church and invite the wider community to our first-ever Nativity Festival.
On December 9 and 10, the church basement was filled with more than 70 different styles of nativities – big and small. A large number of nativities came from different countries in Africa, including one from Burundi; as well as from Mexico, Central America and South America.
The Nativity Festival doors opened on Saturday at 11:00 am and a surprise visitor — Mrs. Claus came to bake fresh homemade cookies in the kitchen and serve them to all the visitors. The tasty treats, including shortbread and sugar cookies were served with a choice of Mrs. Claus’ special hot chocolate, mulled spiced apple cider, coffee and tea.
The Nativity Festival was well attended by parishioners and members of our local community, including Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood on Saturday and a newspaper reporter on Sunday. Many people asked and hope we will do it again – and with the event such a success, we may just do that! Submitted by the Rev. Laureta Blondin