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Meaning of Christmas
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Pictured in the dress-up room making their own nativity scene are, front row, from left, Andrew Montgomery and Adeline Collier. Back row, Clara Collier, Lyla Collier and Mary Collier. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Bringing the joy of Christmas from around the world into Warren County, McMinnville Nativity Festival kicked off Friday and continues through Sunday, Dec. 9.

“We’re trying to make something magnificent,” said Miriam Crawford, one of the organizers. “If people come once, we hope they are inspired to come back. Our goal is to bring the joy of the season into their lives and remind them what Christmas is about.” 

In its fifth year, the event is free and features nativities made from glass, wood, metal, ceramic, pottery, yarn, paper and more. An international nativity display offers sets from around the world, including Uganda, Rwanda, Mexico, Ethiopia, Bahamas, Mexico, the Amazon, Japan, Guatemala, Israel and many others.

A nativity art room offers pieces of artwork on display. Decorations include 400 poinsettias and numerous Christmas trees. Hand-painted, life-sized murals are on exhibit from a Cookeville artist.

“We have five murals,” said Crawford. “Robin Hill from Cookeville hand paints us a new mural each year. They are magnificent. The first one she did is the backdrop on our stage.”

Children could participate in a nativity scene scavenger hunt, as well as play in a children’s room with various dress-up activities. 

Live music is offered throughout the festival so visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. 

Sunday’s schedule: 

2 p.m. World War I Truce Tribute Story

3 p.m. Doug Mulligan

4 p.m. Brylee Evans

“I absolutely love this event,” said visitor Joyce Britton. “It’s so amazing. The artwork is wonderful. Did you see the quilts? They’re gorgeous. All these nativity scenes from around the world are in one place. Each country brings their own character to the scene. I’m just amazed.”

McMinnville Nativity Festival is offered just off Highway 55 at 562 Shangri La Lane at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.