The Old Mission Santa Barbara will not have its traditional live animal nativity scene this year on the front lawn where the manger with statues has been located.
It can however, be found nearby.
Father Adrian, Pastor of Old Mission Santa Barbara, said that lack of planning and volunteers is the reason for not having animals this year. “We need to regroup. Hopefully we will (have the nativity scene with animals) next year”. said Father Adrian.
Visitors looking forward to the live nativity scene were disappointed to find no animals. One visitor said visiting the live nativity scene is a family tradition. A nativity scene with Italian statues is currently on display in a scenic setting that comes alive with specially placed lighting.
In past years, animals were in the nativity scene twenty four hours a day for the entire week leading up to Christmas Day.
One visitor Atef Laouyene from Los Angeles is Muslim and visiting the Mission saying, “I believe my children should be raised knowing all different faiths. It’s part of what makes America great. I think it is important especially given this historic landmark, it’s great.”
Nearby the First United Methodist Church will have a living Nativity for three nights beginning December 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Garden and Anapamu Streets.
If you wish to volunteer next year at the Mission, please contact the St. Barbara;s Parish secretary at (805) 682-4713.