By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Monday, December 19, people gathered at Rainbow City Hall for a live nativity. About 400 to 500 people stopped by the two hour long event.
The Feathered Friends Cockatoo and Horse Sanctuary provided animals for the event including two sheep, a donkey and a camel.
Entertainment for the event was provided by the Southside Elementary Shining Stars, The John S. Jones Joyful Juniors, The Freedom Church Children’s Choir and Strut, USA Performing Arts Center. Harry Butler read the Christmas story, detailing the birth of Jesus.
Two local churches, The First Church of the Nazarene and the Cathedral of Praise, provided hot chocolate and snacks to visitors.
The nativity event was formed as a protest after the city removed its nativity due to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2014. It was replaced, though the city was legally advised not to put up the decoration to avoid costly legal fees in 2015. The city donated it to a church across the street, where it is now displayed. This year, the event was not about protesting, but just a community event.
“The whole purpose was to publically celebrate the birth of Christ,” said State Rep. Mack Butler, who says that he organized the event as a private citizen with White Springs Baptist Church Pastor Abel Garcia.