The search for Christmas is on

Published 6:46 pm Friday, December 4, 2020

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Although the crowds are gone and the cheer is socially distanced, Christmas is still coming and there will be a chance to celebrate.

Rick Bremner puts together figures for Westminster Presbyterian’s Nativity display on Thursday morning. Eric Johnson/

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Westminster Presbyterian Church and St. Olaf Lutheran Church are presenting the Search for the Nativity event, which will run for seven days and allow Austin residents to unravel bible verses, pictures and music as they work their way towards a completed Nativity Scene.

The event will feature seven stops at various homes and churches throughout Austin. Each location will have a card and a code that will offer a piece to the nativity scene and a direction to the next location.

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Search for Nativity is being held in lieu of the Nativity event that was held by the Westminster Presbyterian Church in each of the last four years. It will allow social distancing and follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Event organizer Amanda Gilbert is hoping the event can brighten spirits at a time when families and friends aren’t being encouraged to unite.

“The idea is to make it a gift for the community to celebrate the birth of Christ at a time when there’s not a lot going on,” Gilbert said. “We’re just trying to give an opportunity for people to celebrate Christmas in these different times.”

Pieces of Westminster Presbyterian’s Nativity scene are ready for placing Thursday. Eric Johnson/

The Nativity Search will be held from 4-9 p.m. daily from Dec. 4 to Dec. 13. People can pick their own pace and do the search in one day or throughout an entire week.

The search for the Nativity scene will begin at 404 31st St. NW in Austin and it will cover different areas of town.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out and look at the Christmas lights as well,” Gilbert said.

More information is available at

Similar searches are taking place in Rochester, Winona and La Crosse, Wisconsin.