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Windy Rafters Barn set to host live nativity

Maren and Tim Coates rehearse their roles as Mary and Joseph the live nativity to be presented by Windy Rafters on Dec. 22-23.

Windy Rafters Barn refused to let the COVID-19 pandemic shut down its drive-in, live nativity.

The Orr family consulted frequently with Alberta Health Services to ensure safety protocols are in place for the event on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 22-23.

“My family and I decided that a drive-in style nativity was one way that we could give back to the community, provide an escape from being closed in, and share the Christmas spirit,” organizer Monty Orr explained.

“Being in compliance with the changing restrictions has been a challenge but we’ve been able to adapt.”

The Alberta government recently introduced more restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Windy Rafters in turn made adjustments to its live nativity, which runs from 6-8 p.m. both nights, with each show lasting less than 10 minutes.

The number of actors was reduced to less than 10 to meet the public health restrictions, so some people will fill more than one role.

The actors who will associate with one another are from the same household. The actors playing Mary and Joseph are from one household, and the actors playing shepherds are from another.

All the actors are from the same Orr family and were close contacts prior to the latest restrictions. Most live on the Windy Rafters homestead.

The cast includes Maren and Tim Coates as Mary and Joseph, Paula O’Connor as the innkeeper, Dave, Rowan, Bennett and Caleb O’Connor as shepherds and Maddi Orr, McKinley Orr and Rileigh Hannah as angels and wise men.

The actors will wear masks.

People in the audience will remain in their own vehicles throughout the show. There are no washroom facilities available.

Guests will be advised to arrive 10 minute searly. They will tune their vehicle’s radios to 88.5 FM to hear the narration.

Guests are also to turn off their headlights at the start of the show.

At the end of the performance someone will direct traffic from the parking area.

Monty Orr said Windy Rafters has had great support in staging its first live nativity.

Jim and Charlene Burdett provided the sheep; Jessica Orr and Jason Noel provided goats and birds; Dave O’Connor handled set construction and set-up; and Ron and Alice Todd delivered a donkey.

Only 110 spots are available for guests and they are filling quickly. Reserve a spot on the Windy Rafters Facebook page or call Monty Orr at 403-315-0653.

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