The spirit of the Christmas holiday will come alive in downtown Chelsea on Friday with a live nativity display at Chelsea First United Methodist Church.
The nativity will take place on Park Street on the south side of First United Methodist Church adjacent to the Chelsea District Library parking lot.
There will be live animals and hay bales for children to sit on, as a narrator reads the story of the birth of Christ and a choir sings traditional Christmas carols. A cast of local actors will portray the Holy Family, but no movement will take place.
"We try to make it look as authentic as possible," event organizer Deanna Robbins said.
Robbins said she begins planning for the nativity earlier every year in order to find the perfect cast.
"If someone looks like Joseph, I track them down and ask them if they would be willing to participate," she said. "You would be surprised how many people agree to come back."
Robbins said the live nativity usually draws around 200 to 300 visitors each year.
The nativity begins at 7:30 p.m., with a second viewing at 8 p.m.
A Christmas choir featuring members from area churches will perform traditional Christmas songs as a narrator reads the story of Christ's birth.
"This is one of those awe-inspiring events that reminds people what the Christmas season is truly about," Robbins said. "It gives you that warm connection to the holiday and softens you up and makes you a better person.
"If we could be like that all year, the world would be a much brighter place."
For more information on Chelsea's Hometown Holiday festival, visit http://chelseafestivals.com/.