Live nativity a ‘go’ for The Circle in Georgetown

GEORGETOWN — Thanks to an avalanche of response and support spurred initially by the Good Ole Boy Foundation, The Circle in the heart of Georgetown will host nativity scene after all.

It will be a live nativity, as unattended displays of any kind on The Circle are now prohibited under a town of Georgetown policy revision approved by council earlier this year.
“It’s a ‘go’ for sure,” said Josh Wharton, Good Ole Boy Foundation spokesman.

Good Ole Boy Foundation member K.C. Conaway, with Dagsboro Church of God’s youth ministry, said, “It is going to be an awesome event from our community. We’ve got an awesome community. It is just one of those things where it is time to come together … and let the community speak for itself.

These are some of the beliefs and traditions that we hold dear.”
So, beginning Wednesday, the game plan is to have the live nativity on The Circle from 6 to 8 p.m. each night through Christmas Eve.

As of Sunday, about a dozen churches from throughout Sussex County had pledged to participate in staging the live nativity. Organizers anticipate participation requests will only grow.

“We thought that we would have enough community support. It seemed like the support was there already and they just needed somebody to take action,” said Mr. Conaway.

The live nativity idea arose after word spread through media and social media last week that unattended displays and structures, such as nativity placed on The Circle previously by the Georgetown Wesleyan Church are prohibited following the town’s revision of The Circle Use Policy. Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick said revision is primarily geared toward public safety and protection.

“We fully understand the decision made by the town of Georgetown, and after hearing the backlash of that decision, we felt our community wanted this … and we accepted that challenge,” said Mr. Wharton.

“It was a matter of just people responding to a difficult decision. We don’t know the circumstances upon which the decision had to made. We are not in their shoes,” Mr. Conaway said. “But we just decided that, ‘Hey, if you can’t do an unattended display, then we can make it attended.’”

Permission has been granted from the town.
“We are really humbled,” said Mr. Conaway. “We are appreciative of the town giving us the opportunity to do this. We had to file a permit and get it approved. We went through the proper chains. We’ve been in communication with town officials and the Georgetown police. We’re just trying to do it the right way.”

The structure – which resembles a typical stable, Mr. Conaway said – was built over the weekend. It will be broken down and totally removed from The Circle after each nativity night.
Some nights may be pending, based on weather. “But we’re going to try to get out there as many nights as we can. So, we’re looking at about 14 nights,” said Mr. Conaway.

Nativity-type clothing and costumes are in the works for participants.
Mr. Conaway emphasized that is not a protest, but an alternative, one that hopefully will bring churches of different denominations and people of all ages, races and nationalities together as participants and nativity audiences.

The GOBF opted to go through the church route for nightly staffing, which is ongoing online.
“We’ve had a lot of churches as far as membership and individuals from churches reach out to us wanting to get involved,” said Mr. Conaway. “We knew this was going to be a pretty massive effort just to try to coordinate everyone being there. So, we decided that we would just try to reach out to churches first, because they can bring a group of people.”

“We are trying to make this an opportunity where we can do something together to benefit the community. You’ve got Methodist church, Baptist church, Pentecostal churches … you’ve got all of these different denominations all coming together,” Mr. Conaway said. “We’re going to have an online signup to kind of organize the masses.”

In keeping with the season in conjunction with the live nativity, the GOBF is promoting the opportunity to give back. Each week, the plan is to feature two “real good organizations in the community,” Mr. Conaway said.
“We figure this is about Baby Jesus, so we’re going to see what we can for do for the Sussex County Pregnancy Care Center, and we’re looking at doing the Sussex County Foster Parent Association,” said Mr. Conaway. “We are asking for people to bring out donations.”

The kinds of donations needed will be posted on the Good Ole Boy Foundation Facebook page, Mr. Conaway said.
Additionally, plans are to include traditional cold-weather holiday refreshments.

“We are hoping to have cookies and hot chocolate,” said Mr. Conaway. “So, if people come by and if they want to drop off a donation, we’ll grant them with a friendly cup of hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a win for the community.”
The live nativity materialized in about seven days.

“It has been about a week birthing the idea,” said Mr. Conaway. “There was a series of phone calls that were made by a group of guys and ladies that sparked this idea. We realized very quickly that this is something that people are very passionate about. We, Good Ole Boys, are here to help our community when we are in need.”

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