Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

New life-size nativity highlights 12th annual Community Crèche & Music Festival

nativity1W

Local artist Terry Johnston has used PVC pipe, duct tape, papier maché and innovative coverings to create animals and human figures for a life-size nativity scene to be displayed at this weekend's 12th annual Community Crèche & Music Festival. Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | December 04, 2013 |

Yes, a camel, a donkey and three sheep completely fill her game room, but local artist Terry Johnston wouldn’t have it any other way. And Valerie Dennis has had the privilege of hosting Mary, Joseph and even the three wise men in her home.

“One of the wise men has been standing in a corner of my living room for about four months and visitors are often startled when they walk in to discover he isn’t a real person,” said Dennis, who is the designer and decorator on the organizing committee for the 12th annual Community Crèche & Music Festival, coming up this weekend.

“What I really hope to create is a scene where people feel a sense of wonder, awe and gratitude for the marvelous event of the Savior of the world being born on Earth, where they may feel the spirit of the Lord and have a desire to ‘Come unto Christ.’ ”

The life-size nativity scene being built by a united army of individuals from Davis, Woodland, Winters and Dixon will become the centerpiece of the festival that traditionally kicks off the Christmas season for many. This year, it runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the corner of Gum and Pioneer avenues in Woodland.

The idea for this intricate and massive process began as last year’s festival was wrapping up.

“Even as it was ending last year, I was thinking about how to make next year different and how we can keep people coming back to experience this great community event year after year,” Dennis said.

By spring, Dennis knew the new element would be a life-size nativity. She toyed with several possible styles before she and her husband — “a very handy guy” — settled on building duct tape bodies that were mounted on PVC pipe skeletons, then topped with cosmetology school mannequin heads and covered in fabric to create a realistic look.

“It was fun and fairly easy to find male heads that would work for Joseph, the wise men and a shepherd, but Mary was much harder,” Dennis said. “I felt that many of the female heads had an inappropriate sophistry or a haughty or angry look to them.  I finally found one that I thought I could work with, but the baby Jesus was another challenge.”

The group of fellow members of the LDS church from the local communities has rallied to bring Dennis’ vision to life by building, painting and storing the figures in their homes until it all comes together in a couple of weeks.

Johnston knew exactly what she wanted to do when asked to create the animals that would frame the nativity scene.

“I have never done anything this huge, but I was kind of prepared for it by making piñatas for 28 years,” she said.

The papier maché animals have been sealed with acrylic paint and are now being covered in the fabric that will become their skin, “if I can just find the right color of fake fur for the mane and tail of the donkey,” Johnston said with a chuckle.

Surrounding the new life-size nativity at the Community Crèche & Music Festival will be more than 250 scenes from around the world of diverse and fascinating styles, from Africa to Germany and made of everything from carved stone and pewter, to monkey wood and clay.

The event also includes an extensive musical program, a family room of nativity-themed activities for children, and a Christ-centered exhibit featuring artwork of the Savior.

The musical part of the festival features an ongoing program throughout the weekend. Live classical and holiday music performances will include piano, organ, flute, string, vocal solos and choir performances. The most popular part of the musical program has become the Community Choral Concert, on Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m. After local choirs from churches and community groups perform, the evening culminates with all the choirs and the audience combining to sing “O Holy Night” and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

The Crèche & Music Festival is a kid-friendly family affair. The centerpiece of the family room is a specially built stable, where children and adults alike can dress up like Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, or a wise man and have their picture taken. While waiting for their picture to be taken, kids can do a special Christmas craft project.

For more information, visit the event’s website at www.woodlandcreche.org or email [email protected].

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5