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You Asked: Why is Newmarket's nativity pageant not held closer to Christmas Day?

A reader asks if the Town is 'becoming a Scrooge'? The answer has nothing to do with being stingy over money
20191111 live nativity pageant
Supplied photo/Town of Newmarket

Welcome to the first instalment of NewmarketToday’s You Asked feature. We’ll do our best to get you the answers to your most pressing questions about what’s going on in Newmarket. Email and please include the words You Asked in the subject line.


You Asked:

Rhonda and Taylor emailed to say they were upset to hear the Town of Newmarket’s 31st annual Live Nativity Pageant would be held Dec. 21 and 22, 2019, instead of closer to Christmas day, on Dec. 23 and 24, when the larger turnout occurs.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints told me that the Town of Newmarket cut the budget for the event from four shows to two shows as they store the nativity props. Why not have the pageant at least closer to Christmas as this is what the pageant is all about?” they asked.

“Is the Town of Newmarket becoming a Scrooge?”

Here's the answer:

It turns out the pageant’s event dates and number of public performances have nothing to do with being stingy over money, according to the town.

“This year, the Town of Newmarket is presenting the Nativity Pageant in partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There will be four showings held on Dec. 21 and 22, one at 7 p.m. and another showing at 8 p.m. on each day,” a town spokesperson said.

“In discussions with the Church of Latter Day Saints, it was determined that it would be ideal to hold the four shows over the two days on a Saturday and Sunday. This enabled more effective scheduling of performers (all of whom are volunteers) and other volunteers who bring the production to life. Historically, shows on weekends have been far better attended and residents have overwhelmingly expressed preference for weekend showings.”

Here’s what you need to know about the 31st annual Live Nativity Pageant:

Date and time:  

  • Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019; at 7 and 8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019; at 7 and 8 p.m.  

Location and parking: 

  • Parking at Fairy Lake Park is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Alternate parking options can be found at Riverwalk Commons, 200 Doug Duncan Dr.
  • Accessible parking is available at Fairy Lake Park


  • All shows are free to attend. Shows are about 15 minutes long. Bleacher seating is available on a first-come first-served basis.

The Live Nativity Pageant is presented by the Town of Newmarket and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

A Journey to Bethlehem features a live cast with real animals representing the nativity scene and the birth of Jesus Christ as told in the New Testament. 

Dress warmly as the pageant takes place outside. 

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, email to register. 

Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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