Meridian, Miss. Friday was night one of the annual nativity at a Meridian church.
Hayride after hayride made its way through the live nativity at First Assembly Meridian to experience what organizers are calling the whole story of Christmas.
"You know, our main goal is to remind people of the real reason for the season and that's Jesus," Pastor Robert Null says.
This is an event that continues to grow every year. Organizers tell us that roughly 2,100 people participated in the three day event last year.
"It starts with the first scene of the angel appearing before Mary," organizer Jason Dyess says. "Letting Mary know that there is going to be a baby that she is going to conceive, which is baby Jesus. And the whole tour takes you around the whole story of Christmas, ending at the manger scene. So it's not just a nativity experience, it's the whole story of Christmas."
The whole story of Christmas can sometimes be hard to forget given how commercial the holiday has become in recent years. Pastor Null says it's possible the live nativity serves as an escape from all the commercialism.
"I would really love to think people are responding to the message of the gospel," Null hopes. "The world has taken us kind of away from that with all the commercialism. This is just a simple presentation of the bible stories related to the event of Christ birth."
Church members spent Friday afternoon setting up for the big weekend. The best part about this event for organizers is simply to be able to put it together for members of the community.
The event is free of charge. It runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday.