|First Christian Church, 1207 Main St., Huntington
Beach, CA. (714) 536-2589 Dec.7, 6-9:30pm
Dec.8, 6-10 pm.
Pageant Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach Drive-Thru Nativity
Pageant only lasts for three days but the turn out is
great for this popular annual religious event that
celebrates Christmas in the parking lots and campus of
First Christian Church in Huntington Beach, California.
A tradition that
began in 1968 allowed Southern Californians the
opportunity to enjoy simple, yet powerful holiday
re-enactments from the comfort of their cozy cars.
This type of religious participation had a proven track
record in nearby Garden Grove with
Reverend Robert Schuller's drive-in movie theater
sermons that began 13 years previous. The love of
the car is still going strong in Southern California and
especially at First Christian Church during the
Drive-Thru Nativity Pageant.
Automobiles line up in a traffic-coned lane that you must
enter from 17th and Palm Streets. Directed to enter the
church parking lot in single file, groups of approx. 3
cars drive to the first station of around 8 stations.
The stage lighting is lit in the darkened night and
Bible verses are delivered with youth and adult actors
in costume, plus live animals such as goats, donkeys and
a cow, even. With car lights dimmed, drivers are
directed from one station to the next to watch a scene.
Painted backdrops enhance the settings filled with hay,
stables, mangers and other props to reflect specific
In a single
night, a group of actors may deliver the same line
hundreds of times. We tried to offer money to contribute
to this amazing effort and the volunteers would not
accept donations. "It's our gift to the community," said
one cheery volunteer who handed out coloring books and
crayons to every car for kids to enjoy. At the end of
the pageant, another delightful person hands out candy
canes and wishes you a "Merry Christmas."
While this event has a short run of only three nights, it
embodies the traditions that many seek in attempts to
bring meaning to this somewhat fast-paced world. For
those who seek to learn more about the event, you can
call (714) 536-2589. Location: 1207 Main Street,
Huntington Beach, CA 92648. Time: Usually first
week in December nightly from 6 to 9:30 nightly.