BANGOR, Maine — “The Reason for the Season” will set the tone for the holidays as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presents its ninth annual Creche Exhibit Dec. 5-8 at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Essex Street.
The hours are noon-8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday; and noon-8 p.m. Monday.
As in previous years, the event is free and open to the public — the church’s gift to the community. The exhibit has become a local tradition looked forward to by those of all faiths, said Haze Martin of Brewer, who in past years has headed up the organizing team.
This year, organization of the exhibit passed to Bob Fletcher of Fairfield.
“It’s a celebration of Christ,” Fletcher said of the exhibit. The creches from countries around the world are privately owned and on loan from people of several denominations in the Bangor area and throughout Maine.
Many visitors to the event express a desire to donate funds to help with the exhibit, Martin said, but fundraising is not its purpose. He suggests that those who wish make a donation to their favorite charity as a way of showing appreciation for the creche exhibit.
Each year the exhibit draws some 2,500 people to view more than 500 creches — the number depends on how many owners lend them, said Fletcher.
One of the highlights of the exhibit will include a collection of prints of paintings depicting the life of Christ owned by various LDS churches.
Another highlight will be a gallery of drawings done by the church’s children, age 4 to 12, who were asked to draw a representation of the first Christmas as they imagined it.
Another feature of the exhibits will be creches made up of real people as they re-enact the occasion of the Christ child’s birth. And of course, there will be plenty of music.
Special events include:
Friday, Dec. 5, noon-8 p.m.
First Atlantic Chorus-Vintage Singers, 2 p.m.
Live Nativity re-enactment, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Children’s choir, 10 a.m.
Waterville Area Choir, 11 a.m.
Live Nativity re-enactment, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sweet Adeline chorus, 4 p.m.
Newport Choir, 6 p.m.
Live Nativity re-enactment, 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7, noon-8 p.m.
Jubilation Ringers, 2 p.m.
Worcester Carolers, 5:30 p.m.
Live Nativity re-enactment, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 8, noon-8 p.m.
Barbershop chorus, 6:30 p.m.
Fletcher said it takes many hands to set up and tear down the exhibit. Those who wish to assist with set up and tear down may call Bob or Gail Fletcher at 453-6745.
Pick-up of creches loaned for the exhibit is noon-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10.