Christmas living Nativity, service in stable to be Dec. 1, 2
When Torpy and Wirt Skinner, owners of the 3rd Generation Barn Loft in Canton, moved back into the Canton area in 2005, they wanted to do something unique for the community around Christmastime. The Skinners had experienced live nativity scenes when Wirt Skinner pastored churches in Texas and Arkansas and they wanted to bring that to the Canton area.
This year, The 3rd Generation Barn loft is kicking off the Christmas season with its seventh annual Living Nativity Saturday, Dec. 1 and the eighth annual Christmas Service in a Stable Sunday, Dec. 2.
“It’s a time to simply stop amidst the hectic time of our ever growing secular celebrations of Christmas and remember and feel God's Gift of love to us not only long ago but every day,” said Torpy.
The Living Nativity, which will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1, will feature cast members from Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Clyde and East Fork Baptist Church in Canton, friendly animals, background Christmas music, and low lighting to illuminate a sense of awe and peace remembering the true meaning of Christmas. In addition, patrons will have the opportunity to donate non-perishable food items at the manger for The Community Kitchen.
The Christmas Service in a Stable event, which will be held from 5:30 to 6:10 p.m. Dec. 2, will highlight Scripture readings about the birth of Jesus and a Christmas-related story with special music by a live harpist and string bassist. There will be hay bales for seating and a chance for those attending to sing Christmas carols and enjoy the live animals. Dress warmly.
Both events will enjoy live animals from around the area. Julie, a donkey from Rocky Branch Miniature Donkeys in Candler, is making a repeat appearance this year. Lucky, a goat from Calvin and Peggy King, of Canton, got her name because when she was born, she was the smallest of triplet goats and was being rejected.
“The owners took her in, hand-fed her, used preemie diapers on her and raised her,” Torpy said. “Lucky is quite sure she’s human.”
Also appearing in the events are sheep from Zack’s Sheep Farm in the Canton area.
Both events will take place in the 90-year-old barn, 84 Frank Mann Road, in Canton. The events and parking are free of charge. To get to the barn, take Exit 33 off I-40, turn towards Leicester for about ¾ of a mile, fork left onto N. Hominy Road, and take first right onto Frank Mann Road.