The minister of the Congregational Church, Richard Hoblin, took this photo of the church’s 1963 Christmas pageant. Little angels and shepherds flank the three wise men (left to right) Wilbur Moore, Al Davis and Neil McCandless after the play.

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The minister of the Congregational Church, Richard Hoblin, took this photo of the church’s 1963 Christmas pageant. Little angels and shepherds flank the three wise men (left to right) Wilbur Moore, Al Davis and Neil McCandless after the play.

Museum of Northwest Colorado: A Christmas Tradition

Some traditions almost seem timeless when the Christmas season comes around. The traditional Nativity Pageant has been a part of church, and until recent years, school Christmas activities since at least the 17th century.

Varying in length as well as complexity, these nativities were common in Craig churches for many years. In 1963, the First Congregational Church of Craig held a Christmas Eve pageant with numerous participants involved. Few boys appeared to have volunteered for any assignments, as evidenced by the scant handful of shepherds and pages listed in the program. Jim Stehle, Mike Brinks, Bill Cobb, Danny Davidson, Scott Cook, John Thomas and Scott Winder were the only little boys listed as taking part in the event. Conversely, the church seemed to abound with angelic young girls, who gladly donned their halos and wings for the little drama. The 14 eager little angels included Becca Hoblin, Ann Beckett, Judy Witham, Ann Mosley, Gail Norris, Judy Loyd, Ann Tucker, Linda Lewis, Maxine Schindler, Linda Brownawell, Katie Groseclose, Edith Brock, Teresa Conner and Linda Bilsing.

The adults who contributed to the tableau were Wilbur Moore, Al Davis and Neil McCandless, who all acted as the wise men, with James Davis and his wife, Maribeth, portraying Joseph and Mary. Rounded out by a complement of junior and youth choirs, the event must surely have been well attended. The program for the event even mentioned that Santa would make an appearance in the kindergarten room following the service.

This week there are numerous special events listed in the newspaper and on the local radio highlighting the enthusiasm with which this traditional Christian holiday is still celebrated locally. The staff at the Museum of Northwest Colorado knows that history starts “now” and would love to scan copies of photos (or receive emailed digital images) from your organization’s Christmas celebration, whether it is the Festival of Trees or a church or school program. We know someday, possibly several decades from now, someone will be anxious to find out information on the holiday event held in our community this year. Give us a call and let us help document your event and save it for future generations. Contact the museum at 970-824-6360 or musnwco@moffatcounty.net with information about your Christmas season event. The staff at the museum wishes you a Merry Christmas and may the next year be a great one for you and our entire community.

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