Christian Heritage School students bring Christmas Alive in Steamboat
December 7, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Christian Heritage School students on Friday and Saturday nights will transform an ordinary slab of pavement in front of their campus just west of Steamboat Springs into a living, drive-thru nativity story with scenes that include a bustling city of Bethlehem and the journey of three wise men.
"You wouldn't believe what we can do in our parking lot," Christian Heritage music and drama teacher Christel Houston said Wednesday about the school's annual Christmas Alive program, which allows community members to sip cider as they drive by nativity scenes being pantomimed by Christian Heritage students. "And it's all for free."
The school's fifth annual nativity program will run continuously from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. In addition to hot cider, motorists who enter also will be handed a CD that plays Christmas carols sung by Christian Heritage students. Houston said the event is a way for the school to give back and show its appreciation for the community.
"This is a gift and a great way to kick off the Christmas season," she said.
And she said it's also fun for the students — who have braved snowstorms, wind and sub-freezing temperatures — to immerse themselves in the narrative each year. Sitting in a conference room at the school Wednesday, junior Jane Robey pointed to the small tree in the parking lot that she stood beside during a snowstorm two years ago as she played the angel who talked to the shepherds.
"That was the most memorable year," she said, adding that she has starred in the nativity scene since its inception and has taken on roles that also include Mary and a shepherd. "It was kind of fun because we got to stick together and fight through the coldness and make it work. Every year, we get to have an experience with people in their cars, and I like to see the look on their faces when they get to see the whole nativity."
The five-scene nativity story will be manned by about 50 kindergarten through 12th-grade students throughout the course of the event and is expected to draw as many as 100 cars per night, Houston said. The costumed students also will be joined by prop horses and camels, among other things, to bring the narrative to life.
"This is a story I've read every year," Robey said. "But acting it out gives it a whole new perspective as to what it actually means."
— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com
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