TOLEDO — The Nativity Festival at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 428 North Erie St., will be open Friday-Dec. 18, Thursdays and Fridays 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays noon-4 p.m.

Guests can expect to see more than 300 nativities from around the world, on loan from area residents. A map will guide visitors throughout the large building, where nine decorated rooms each hold a different Christmas theme.

The historic sanctuary pays homage to Handel’s Messiah, the parlor decor explodes with hydrangeas, birds and natural resources, and the resource room holds a chronological display of nativities and Christmas tablescapes from 1223 through the 1980s. Three balcony rooms are staged with different themes. One pays homage to Swedish traditions and the celebration of Santa Lucia. Another highlights nativities from South America, where clay, wood, basket and beadwork are exhibited. Guests can stop in the weaving room and view the results of several community weaving projects, a tree made by Unruly Arts and high school youth woven ornaments on CDs. Haitian nativities made from paper and pop cans are also on display.

HeART Gallery holds 22 trees, each surrounded by a global representation of creches from Italy, Germany, Russia, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia. Guests will end their journey in the social room with a hot chocolate and cookie bar, marketplace of handmade jewelry and ornaments from Haiti, and children’s photo and craft area. Santa and Mrs. Claus will pay a visit on Dec. 5 from noon-4 p.m.

Concerts held during the festival are Sunday at 4:30 p.m. with the 100 voice Toledo Choral Society presenting their annual “Messiah” with 16 piece chamber orchestra. Tickets can be purchased at www.toledochoralsociety.org. The closing concert “Candlelight Renaissance” will be held Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. featuring the Academy Brass Quintet, organ and handbell music.

Parking is adjacent to the church, which is handicap accessible. Masks should be worn. For questions, or information on reserving a narrated walk for groups, call Kate Philabaum at 419-270-3224 or email kate@stpaulstoledo.org.

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