What is the Community Festival of Nativities?
The 2017 Community Festival of Nativities is sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church.
We invite community members in the Peoria, Illinois area to join us in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by viewing nativity displays from around the world and enjoying musical performances from local talent. Members from different churches have come together to create this unique and complimentary interfaith nativity exhibit with one simple hope in mind — to provide a peaceful place for individuals and families to reflect upon Christ’s sacred birth as they usher in the Christmas season.
The nativity scene has been around since 1223, when St. Francis of Assisi was inspired by a trip to the Holy Land and used living people and animals to stage Jesus Christ’s humble beginnings. The living scene was soon recreated in other Catholic countries in the form of three dimensional figurines, also known as a crèche, with Mary and the Christ child at the center, often surrounded by Joseph, shepherds, wise men, angels, and animals. The crèche gained popularity and has spread across cultural and political boundaries to become a traditional Christian symbol of Christ’s birth.