Live nativity tonight at Jensen Grove in Blackfoot

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Leslie Seiger, EastIdahoNews.com

BLACKFOOT — The spirit of Christmas filled Jensen Grove in Blackfoot on Saturday night, as the Christian story of the first Christmas was told through a live nativity.

A horse drawn ride took visitors by various stations depicting scenes from the biblical Nativity story, such as when the Virgin Mary was visited by an angel who told her she would give birth to the Son of God and his name would be Jesus Christ. The final station showed Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger.

“This is what Christmas is all about,” said Monty Smith, owner and driver of one of the horse drawn buggies.

Smith, as well as many others, has been volunteering for the nativity every other year since 2000 when two Blackfoot residents, Dana Pope and Kathy Abend first organized the event.

“After 9/11 they wanted to do something to bring the community together,” event coordinator Debby Leiseth said.

Leslie Seiger, EastIdahoNews.com

Organizers of the event provided burn barrels for visitors to stay warm while waiting in line for their chance to hop aboard one of the six horse drawn wagons and experience the nativity.

“It helps to get us in the Christmas spirit,” attendee Kevin Young said. “Everybody is so kind and it is an authentic way of seeing people re-enact the Savior’s birth.”

After finishing the ride, attendees were invited into the shelter on the west end of the park for hot chocolate and cookies, while worship teams from a local church sang Christmas carols.

The live nativity can be experienced again Sunday, Dec. 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jensen Grove. Everyone should remember to dress warm and bring blankets.

Volunteers from various church groups in Blackfoot have worked hard over the past few months to organize the event.

Leslie Seiger, EastIdahoNews.com

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