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Last Chance to View Santa Monica's Historic Nativity Display  

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By Lookout

January 5, 2017 -- The visit of the Three Wise Men to the newborn Jesus, which is a staple of the nativity scene, is celebrated by Christians across the world on Friday as the Epiphany, and Santa Monicans still have time to view a life-size rendition of the scene.

The nativity display at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 1343 Ocean Park Boulevard, will come down on Saturday, but some of the decorations may be gone as early as Thursday, organizers said.

This year marked the 64th anniversary of the historical Santa Monica display and the fourth year at Mount Olive, which agreed to host the display after the City banned it from Palisades Park in 2011 ("Neighborhood Church Will Host Santa Monica’s 60th Annual Nativity Scene Display," December 12, 2013).

The Nativity display, which was first mounted in the park in 1952 as a joint effort between the Chamber of Commerce and locl churches, was removed after aethists mounted a successful challenge by applying for their own displays.

In 2015, Santa Monica’s prohibition of multiple-day displays at all City parks was upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeal, which has not deterred organizers from continuing to mount the display on private land.

The 14 scenes displayed on the church's lawn show a different aspect of the early life of Jesus, from the Annunciation through his boyhood.

One of the scenes features the Wisemen fom the East -- Melchoir, Gaspar and Balthazar -- bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts for the newborn baby.

This year's display features renoted booths and new LED lights that make the scenes "sustainable and bright," said Zachary Scribner, chair of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes.

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