The Nativity Festival will open on Thanksgiving Day through Dec 19, Thursdays and Fridays 4-7 pm and Saturdays 12-3pm.
Guests can expect to see more than 100 nativities from around the world, on loan from area residents. Situated among decorated trees and tablescapes, the variety of
styles and materials used is stunning.
A path, marked on the floor throughout the large building, will allow for social distancing. As guests enter, the first area is a chronological depiction of nativities and Christmas traditions from St Francis of Assisi (1223) through present day trends. The newly expanded sanctuary and its decor highlight the historic beauty of the 100 year old building and impressive Reuters pipe organ.
Guests will next be treated to a Renaissance revival in the Parlor, whose architecture resembles a European castle, and space is filled with angels and elaborately appointed nativity figures. The Resource Room highlights nativities from South America, where clay, wood, basket and beadwork are exhibited. Winding around the newly renovated balcony to the gallery, you'll pass a Santa Lucia display for those who appreciate the red, white, and candlelit Swedish traditions. Guests will then stop in the Weaving Room and participate in a community weaving project by threading a few strands into our winter scene. Next, in the Photo Room, pictures can be taken against one of four different backdrops with photo props available. Everyone's favorite - the Dessert Bar - is next. Unfortunately due to covid, food will be limited this year to a wrapped cookie by Pattye Bake Cookies. But your spirits will be lifted in the adjacent Marketplace, where small gift and home decor items await your purchase - all under $25. Lastly, the Gallery, will be filled with 15 stunning themed trees, tablescapes and more nativities from around the world: Italy, Germany, Mongolia, Russia, Africa, India to name a few.
The Nativity Festival is free and open to all. Donations are appreciated and Marketplace items will be for sale. The event is held at St Paul's Lutheran Church, 428 North Erie Street in downtown Toledo. There is free parking adjacent to the church, which is
handicap accessible. Masks are required. For questions, or information on reserving a narrated walk for groups, please call Kate Philabaum at 419.270.3224.