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December 9-10-11, 2009



First Christian Church, 1207 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA. (714) 536-2589   Dec.7, 6-9:30pm Dec.8,  6-10 pm.

Drive-Thru Nativity 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 scriptures.


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.





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