Springfield is scheduled to present its 34th annual nativity pageant with one performance under the stars at 7 p.m. the evenings of Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14.

The pageant voted “Best of Minnesota Live Nativity” by WCCO television viewers in 2017, is presented free of charge as a gift from the Springfield community.

The pageant retells the biblical story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.

Springfield uses a natural outdoor setting with an all local cast representing the characters of the nativity including family with a baby, a live manger scene – including camels – and a community chorus.

Professional sound and lighting systems enhance the production, and large painted backdrops recreate the biblical aura. Characters are attired in authentic period costumes.

The pageant will be presented on the Springfield Area Community Center grounds. There is charm in the warmth of a village setting, and it is easily accessible for motorists and pedestrians and offers ample parking. Portable bleachers will be set up for spectators.

The pageant time is approximately 40 minutes.

Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and comfortably for cold winter conditions and are encouraged to bring blankets and/or stadium robes. Visitors are invited to join the pageant crew and cast for holiday refreshments in the community center following the performances.

The Springfield Area Nativity Theatre Association is the official sponsor of the event, with volunteers from all of Springfield’s churches participating.

Several hundred individuals volunteer their assistance in many ways.

The pageant is funded by a summer burger feed, a holiday luncheon and cookie sale and donations.