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Faith Free to perform live nativity tonight

The kids from Faith Christian School stole the show Tuesday at a live nativity show south of Detroit Lakes.

Students and other kids played all the major roles -- Mary, Joseph, the wise men, even baby Jesus, and they also dressed as shepherds and angels.

Today (Wednesday) it will be the adults' turn, as Faith Free Lutheran members put on a Live Nativity presentation 6-8 p.m. today in a building long used to process maple sugar .

The farm is located 11 miles south of Detroit Lakes on Highway 59, then right on County Road 31, second place on the right. You can't miss it -- the Al and Laura Fowler place is decked out with Christmas lights.

"We were down here working one day and Al said 'this would be a great place for a live nativity,'" Laura said. "I called Pastor Paul (Larson) and the ball got rolling."

That was about thee weeks ago, she said.

"It just kind of came up as a spur of the moment thing this year," Pastor Larson said. "Hopefully it will become a tradition."

The church had hoped to have live animals as part of the presentation, but the sheep and cow "got the flu" and couldn't make it, Larson said, so the children in the crowd had to make do with the "donkey," actually a miniature horse named Flicka owned by a niece of the Fowlers.

"We had hoped to have a real camel," Laura said. "We know somebody with exotic animals." But the owner had gone south for the winter and the animals were being boarded elsewhere, she said. "That's something to plan on for next year, maybe," she added.

No matter. The 25-30 kids who were involved in the production brought the nativity to life just fine on their own: As Al Fowler read a short passage from the nativity in the Bible, the appropriate "actors" entered the manger and took their places, then joined in singing a Christmas carol that matched the scene. Costumes came from the church, the school, and from Zion Lutheran Church, which was "very nice to let us borrow adult-sized costumes," Laura said.

The presentation lasted about 20 minutes, including a few carols sung by everyone who felt like joining in, and then visitors were invited inside for treats and coffee.

There's no charge for the event, but a free-will donation is accepted, with proceeds going to the school, which serves students up through eighth grade.