Live Nativity runs through Saturday

Trenton and Sarah Pursley portray Joseph and Mary in one of the ensemble groups at the 2015 Live Nativity in Central. - Gila Valley Central Photo

Video report from last year’s Live Nativity

By Jon Johnson

CENTRAL – Christmas is big time in the Gila Valley, and while Nativity scenes may be a thing of the past in some communities, it’s hard to top Graham County’s main Nativity, which utilizes live actors.

The fifth annual “Live Nativity at The Gila Valley Arizona Temple” triumphantly returns Thursday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 2. Show times are at 6, 6:45, 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. and each day features a different cast.

The event takes place at the building by the temple’s lawn on the northeast side of the property and is held in conjunction with a Music and Creche Festival inside the adjacent meeting house. The festival features hundreds of nativities and will include a variety of musical performances. 

Started in 2013 by producer and event originator Tracy Pursley, the Live Nativity event has seen standing-room-only crowds each and every year. 

The Nativity not only uses live actors to portray the birth of Jesus Christ but also utilizes local farm animals.


What: The fifth annual Live Nativity

Where: The Gila Valley Arizona Temple grounds on the northeast section of property near the ball fields

When: Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. 2, with shows at 6, 6:45, 7:30 and 8:15 p.m.

What to bring: Warm clothing, hot cocoa

Cost: Free