The Live Nativity will be back again this year at Nibley’s historic Morgan Farms at 2726 S. 800 W. Nibley on Dec. 7, 8, and 10. The live nativity features community volunteers dressed in period clothing.
Moses the camel is expected to be on site, and so are other farm animals like donkeys, goats, sheep, and chickens. There will also be hay rides for the guests.
Since its inception, the creator, Richard Eversull, was determined to help people remember the true meaning of Christmas. He began the Live Nativity 12 years ago. He is concerned people are getting too caught up in the commercialization of the holiday.
After a car accident in 1987, Eversull was confined to a wheelchair. However, he can still be found at the historic farm using a rake to pull debris away from the barn, or doing other chores to get the facility ready for the seasonal remembrance program. Some of the outbuildings have ramps so his wheelchair can access them. He leases the eight acre farm from Nibley City.
“We put up lights on the front fence and put warm lights over the manger stable, trying to keep the lighting so it doesn’t look too much like a modern Christmas,” Eversull said. “We’ll have fire barrels to help people stay warm.”
He said they will have hot chocolate available for people to enjoy all three evenings.
In the beginning, the nativity used young people as actors, but as they grew up and moved on, the pool of actors dried up.
Last year the Nibley Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stepped in to help.
“We sat down with the city and had conversations over the last couple years to see how our stake could be of service to the city,” said Dan Farnsworth, the Stake President for the church. “The city has held onto it, and the stake is helping the city carry out the tradition started by Richard.”
Farnsworth said Eversull deserves a lot of credit and accolades for doing this for so long.
“Without Richard, none of this would be happening,” Farnsworth said. “He has done all of it the last several years.”
Farnsworth said he just wants to have people experience the celebration of Christ’s birth.
“This is a special time of year and we want to share recognizing Christ’s birth and celebrating it,” he said. “All of the 12 wards in the stake have agreed to participate in one way or another.”
Eversull said he wanted to mention the help of Carrie Tuddenham, Trudy Knight, Shauna Young, Trevor Whitesides and a whole slew of volunteers who coordinated different aspects of the production. .
The whole thing would not be successful without Heather Nelson, a 16 year-old Ridgeline High School student who cares for the farm animals throughout the year.
Friday night is generally the slower time, people can generally get in and out fast. Monday night is the busiest.
Eversull suggested 10 cans or $15 per family, or $3 or 3 cans of food or whatever you can afford; and if you can’t afford to donate, come anyway.
“We try to cover the expenses and all of the food goes to the food pantry,” Eversull said. “Last year we collected 3,300 pounds of food. We would like to have people bring high protein food.”