Updated for 2018 – This Christmas pageant is like no other you have ever seen. For over 20 years, the people at Calvary Assembly Church in Decatur pretty much prepare for Christmas 12 out of 12 months. Their huge annual holiday production, Christmas Now & Then, is one of the best kept secrets south of Nashville, and is a great blend of the traditional Christmas story of Jesus’s birth and an energetic secular spectacle of a full-blown holiday show.
This year’s show is titled “The Greatest Show“, and is comprised of over 700 singers, dancers, costume characters, and live animals. Ironically, despite it’s name, you simply will NOT believe the scope of this show. Last year my entire extended family went together, and both my five and six year-old sat for an hour with their mouths hanging open, and necks swiveling around in order to see everything at once!
Every costume character imaginable makes an appearance: Sesame Street, Veggie Tales, Madagascar, a barrage of Disney royalty & icons, Nick Jr., Buddy the Elf, super heroes of all sorts, a host of angels that ascend from the rafters, and Santa Claus himself have plenty of stage time. But by far the most popular segment of the show belongs to Frosty the Snowman. His posse of hard-hitting hip-hop dancers launches the show into hyperdrive, and Frosty’s moves are nothing short of amazing.
Christmas Now & Then is full of intricately choreographed dancing, singing, costumes, lights, and complete and total fun – however, everything becomes reverent in the second half of the show, when the live-action Nativity begins. Live camels, sheep, goats, and horses take part in the telling of the timeless story, and the traditional carols are performed and accompanied by the audience. The show comes to a close with a prayer led by the church pastor.
This production isn’t purely for entertainment, but also serves as a powerful outreach method. Last year, Calvary Assembly Church used the proceeds to provide over 800 local families with a full Christmas meal, as well as gave 1,200 gifts to low-income children. Busloads of residents from low-income housing attend a special performance followed by a Christmas feast at the church. By attending the show, you help support this effort to provide an amazing Christmas experience for hundreds of children in north Alabama.
Want to preview a bit of last year’s show? This video is just a snippet of the popular toy scene that is included each year: click here!
Christmas Now & Then Show Details
When: December 7-9 and December 14-16
Where: Calvary Assembly Church, Decatur