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Maple Ridge Center to host inaugural walk-through Nativity this Saturday

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LOWVILLE — Maple Ridge Center will be transformed into a modern-day Bethlehem for an inaugural walk-through Nativity event.

“The Story of Hope,” a free event presented by the Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association with the help of various local churches, will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the center, at 7421 East Road.

“This is a chance for us to give to the community and get them involved with our ministry,” said David Nisley, media and outreach director at Beaver Camp and Maple Ridge.

The Nativity dramatization, based on a script written by Mr. Nisley, will include five scenes illustrating the traditional Christmas story, according to Penny G. Moncrief, who is helping to organize and direct the program.

They will include Zacharias and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, shepherds on the hillside with a choir of angels, King Herod and the wise men and, finally, the Nativity scene itself.

Guided walking tours through the scenes, scattered around Maple Ridge Center, will be led by eight different Angel Gabriels.

Those attending may arrive at any time during the two-hour event, with tours to begin whenever a group of 15 to 20 people forms. Some of the scenes are outdoors, so those attending should dress appropriately.

Following the roughly 30-minute tour, participants will be invited to go to the warming barn for soup, bread and other refreshments.

The cast will include 40 to 50 people, including members of the Lowville Community Chorus, Mrs. Moncrief said. The show also will feature live animals.

Moses M. Beiler, a camping association board member who is helping to organize the walk-through Nativity, said he attended a similar event in Lancaster County, Pa., that has been going on for about a decade and now draws thousands of people.

“We thought it would be a neat thing for our community,” he said.

Mr. Beiler said the community response thus far has been good, and he is hopeful that it will translate into solid attendance for the inaugural event.

“People are excited about it,” he said.

No tickets are required, but donations will be accepted to support Beaver Camp’s summer camp program.

Those seeking more information can call the Beaver Camp office at 376-2640, send an email to Mr. Nisly at david@beavercamp.org or visit the Maple Ridge Center website at www.mapleridgecenter.com.

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