600 nativity scenes to be displayed at church in Cape Girardeau, - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

600 nativity scenes to be displayed at church in Cape Girardeau, MO


Have you ever seen 600 nativity scenes at one time? Well, now you will have the chance.

We caught up with volunteers at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cape Girardeau on Monday. They were setting up displays of nativity scenes and other Christmas decorations for their Fourth Annual Nativities Around the World event.

"It started as something we could give to the community where people could come in and see nativities from all around the world," volunteer Shelby Caldwell said. "And really see how different people celebrate the same event."

Roughly 20 volunteers took the time to sift through and sort nativity scene display items, which will fill up many rooms of the church.

All the items were donated from people around the area; including, Jon Baker who brought in more than 500 that he has collected over past decades.

"We've been in 20 or so different counties and we've collected nativities from 43 different countries," Baker said. "It's a shame just to have them sitting in boxes in storage sheds."

Baker was in the Army for years and decided he, along with some of his buddies, would collect nativity scene items from each country they had visited. He had kept them in boxes that were collecting dust up until four years ago when he donated them to the church event in Cape Girardeau.

"The whole purpose is to show everybody that we believe in Christ," Baker said. "There so many different depictions, especially during this holiday season where people are trying to be politically correct and say happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas. We want to show that Christmas really has to do with Christ."

Each room is a different theme. One room is called the white room and consists of white lights and displays. Other rooms include: a kids room, a craft room, an area designated for different countries and more.

"There's a lot of hustle and bustle. People are going all over doing so many different things," Caldwell said. "But this is a moment where you can just pause; and with your family, remember why we celebrate this season. And I think that's the best part, is spending it together with the family."

The event is free for the public and will take place Thursday, December 3 through Saturday, December 5 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cape Girardeau at 1048 W. Cape Rock Drive.

They will be open each day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will also have live music on Saturday.

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