This traditional walking, carol-singing pilgrimage re-enacts Mary and Joseph's journey to the manger, according to the Nativity story. From Tracy Hall, Joseph leads a donkey carrying Mary to the Norwich Inn; the procession follows. The innkeeper tells them there is no room at the Inn and sends them to a nearby stable. Along the way, at the Norwich Town Grange, a multitude of angels brings good tidings to a group of shepherds. The journey continues to the stable, where the Nativity scene is complete with sheep and oxen. It concludes with the arrival of the three Wise Men bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Norwich High School seniors play the roles of Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds and Wise Men. The role of baby Jesus is played by one of the town’s newest residents.
Gifts of nonperishable food and clothing for The Haven are welcome and can be brought to the pageant to be presented at the manger or left in a collection box in Tracy Hall.
Appropriate outdoor clothing and flashlight or headlamp are encouraged. Songbooks will be distributed. Following the pageant, everyone is invited to the Norwich Inn for hot cocoa, cookies and more caroling with piano accompaniment.
Dan & Whit's will be selling pageant holiday greeting cards painted by local artists, as well as a children’s book, The Norwich, Vermont Christmas Pageant, by local author Marty James, in support of the event.