Live nativity and service held in Canton barn

Nov 20, 2013

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 at Christmastime.

The Skinners had been involved in live nativity scenes when Wirt Skinner pastored churches in Texas and Arkansas and they wanted to bring that idea back to their family’s farm in the Canton area utilizing their 82 year old barn (at that time).

This year, the 3rd Generation Barn loft is kicking off the Christmas season with its eighth annual Living Nativity Scene Saturday, Dec. 7, and their ninth annual Christmas Service in a Stable (a separate event) on Sunday, Dec. 8, still in the same barn.

“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 Skinner.

The Living Nativity, a walk-through, which will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday Dec. 7, will feature cast members from Long’s Chapel and Clyde Central United Methodist Churches, Antioch, Beulah and Crestview Baptist Churches; friendly animals; background Christmas music and scripture, as well as “special low lighting to illuminate a sense  of awe and peace remembering the true meaning of Christmas,” Wirt Skinner said.

In addition, patrons will have the opportunity to donate non-perishable food items, at the manger, for The Community Kitchen in Canton.

The Christmas Service in a Stable, a different event, being held from 5:30 to 6:10 p.m. Dec. 8, will highlight scripture readings about the birth of Jesus, the singing of Christmas carols together, a Christmas-related story and special music. There will be hay bales for seating and a chance for those attending to enjoy the live animals. Dress warmly.

Both events will enjoy live animals from around the area.  Willow, a donkey from Rocky Branch Long Ears Miniature Donkey Farm in Bethel and Lucky, a goat from Calvin and Peggy King of Canton will be loving the attention.

Lucky, returning from last year and the one that was born quite small, hand-fed with a bottle and who wore preemie diapers until big enough to live with other goats, will be bringing along a Nanny goat and her two young kids as well.

Alpacas (May and BarbJean) will be joining these animals on Sunday night from the 3P Suri Alpaca Farm in Waynesville.

Both events will take place in the 91-year-old handicap accessible barn, 84 Frank Mann Road in Canton. The events and parking are free of charge.  Take exit 33/I-40, turn toward Leicester for about three-fourths of a mile, fork left onto N. Hominy Road and take the very first right to the big barn.

For more information, call the 3rd Generation Barn Loft at 648-4094.