Each year since 1954, Olney’s Oakdale Emory United Methodist Church has presented a free, 20-minute Biblical narrative of the Christmas story, with music and live actors and animals. This year’s presentation took place Dec. 20-22.
The preparations begin in early December when a group coordinated by the United Methodist Men assembles the rustic wooden stable and installs the lighting and sound equipment in the church’s parking lot along Georgia Avenue.
Individuals, families and small groups portray the roles of the Mary and Joseph, prophets, wisemen, and a host of angels and shepherds. Over the years, hundreds of church members and their families, friends and neighbors have participated together in this intergenerational activity.
A few days before the performances began, the stable is filled with straw and the animals, typically a donkey, sheep and goat, are brought in from several farms in Howard County.