The idea was to do something that would bring out the people of Dungiven, and that’s exactly what a ‘Live Nativity Crib’ event did at the weekend.
Organised by Project Fusion, a group of graduates from the town, the festive event drew hundreds of people into Dungiven.
From 1-7pm on Sunday, Main Street car park was transformed to stage a nativity scene with live animals, including a donkey, a ewe and lambs. Volunteers, including several local children, took their turn at staging the nativity scene.
“The idea is to bring out the people of Dungiven and have a community event for people to be part of, no matter what their age,” said Sheila Coyle from Project Fusion.
There were also craft stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. There was live entertainment throughout the day, including St. Canice PS and former X Factor star, Eoghan Quigg. A candlelight procession was held on Saturday night.
The event almost didn’t happen this year but, thanks to community spirit in Dungiven, volunteers surged forward in recent weeks to make it happen.
“Last year was such a success and we wanted to build on that,” said Ms Coyle who added: “There are too many people to try and thank.”
Former Sinn Fein MLA, Cathal O’hOisin, took his turn as a shepherd.
Mr. O’hOisin said: “I think it’s a wonderful exercise that Project Fusion is involved in. You could see from the turn out on Sunday, and Saturday, community engagement and buy-in, and it reflects a sense of belonging within the Dungiven area, and the fact it was cross community made it more poignant.”
The event drew praise on social media. One woman posted on Project Fusion’s Facebook page: “The Holy Spirit is alive and well and living in Dungiven.
“Massive well done ... You are a credit.
“God bless you all.”
Another user said: “Well done to all involved in the organising, I love it , and hope it will be something that continues every year ... this is what Christmas should be about.”