Every year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has a Festival of Lights at the Washington DC Temple. They probably have one at every temple for all I know. It lasts during the month of December and the first week in January.
We make it a point to go once or twice every year. Each night they have a fine musical performance at the Visitor's Center. Last night was no different. We saw the Northern Lights Dance Orchestra. They are a big band era group, originally from Canada. They play big band music and last night they played Christmas Carols with a big-band twist. It was wonderful.
While these photos don't do justice to the scene, the grounds are decorated with over 500,000 lights.
They start in August and string them until the Festival begins.
There is also a full-sized Manger display, with scripture reading, various movies playing inside the Visitor's Center, a creche display with hundreds of creches from around the world and, of course, the wonderful performances. This next week will certainly be busy. This weekend was probably the busiest of the year.
Some 1800 people are packed into a large auditorium and the show goes on. There are two performances each night, so they are moving a lot of people in and out!
The orchestral performance was musical and vocal. There was even a group mimicking the Andrews Sisters, along with a gentleman who sounded like Bing Crosby, who sang a big-band version of Jingle Bells. Not bad!
It gets you into the spirit of Christmas!
The temple is in Kensington, Maryland (where I grew up!) and is easy to find. Just follow the signs.
Performances are each night at 7pm and 8pm.
So pack up and go! It can get crowded, but is well worth the trip.
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