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NATIVITY FESTIVAL . . .so beautiful!

The Nativity Festival at St Pauls Lutheran Church, 428 North Erie Street, downtown Toledo, will open Friday, November 26 through Dec 18, Thursdays and Fridays 4-7 pm and Saturdays 12-4pm. Admission is free,

however donations are appreciated. SANTA AND MRS. CLAUS will viist

Saturday, Dec 4 between 12pm - 4pm.

Guests can expect to see more than 300 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 map will guide visitors throughout the large building, where nine decorated rooms each hold a different Christmas theme. The historic Sanctuary pays homage to Handel’s Messiah, the Parlor decor explodes with hydrangeas, birds and natural resources, and the Resource Room holds a chronological display of Nativities and Christmas tablescapes from 1223 through the 1980s. Three balcony rooms are uniquely staged with different themes. One pays homage to Swedish traditions and the celebration of Santa Lucia. Another highlights nativities from South America, where clay, wood, basket and beadwork are exhibited. Guests can stop in the Weaving Room and view the results of several community weaving projects, a tree made by Unruly Arts and high school youth woven ornaments on CDs. Haitian nativities made from paper and pop cans are also on display.

HeART Gallery holds 22 trees, each surrounded by a global representation of creches from Italy, Germany, Russia, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia - to name a few. Finally guests will end their journey in the Social Room with a Hot Chocolate and Cookie Bar, Marketplace of handmade jewelry and ornaments from Haiti, and kids photo and craft area. Santa and Mrs. Claus will pay a visit on Saturday, Dec 5 from noon - 4pm.

Concerts held during the festival are Sunday, Nov 28 at 4:30pm with the 100 voice Toledo Choral Society presenting their annual “Messiah” with 16 piece chamber orchestra. Tickets can be purchased through their website at The closing concert “Candlelight Renaissance” will be held Sunday, Dec 19 at 4:00pm featuring the Academy Brass Quintet, organ and handbell music. Slide and stories of Christmas traditions past and present will accompany the program. Parking is adjacent to the church, which is handicap accessible. Masks should be worn. For questions, or information on reserving a narrated walk for groups, please call Kate Philabaum at 419.270.3224 or email


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