Local Catholic Church Hosts Annual Christmas Eve Pageant

FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Some people are spending their Christmas Eve celebrating Mass and enjoying a holiday show at the Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith.

Students from the church's Catholic school celebrated the holiday with a special performance.

It was a full house inside Immaculate Conception where the congregation gathered for their kid’s mass.

The highlight of the evening was the annual Christmas pageant.

“We want children to really understand the true meaning of Christmas. That it’s a time when Jesus was born, and we celebrate that, and who better than children to pass that message along to others," said Sharon Blentlinger.

The performance tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they look for shelter before the birth of Jesus.

First through sixth-grade students all get to play a part.

Marybelle Castagno is getting to narrate this year.

“It takes a lot of work, and it helped me understand the story a lot better," said Castagno.

The principal says there’s never a dull moment working with kids.

“There really always a funny little group because you never know if they’re going to pop up when they’re supposed to or if someone is going to urge them along," said Blentlinger.

It’s been a tradition here for more than 40 years, and one that staff plan to continue.

Teachers say it’s a lot of fun for the kids but a blessing for the whole family.

"The parents enjoy it because of the memories, and I think that it’s really cool that they do that because it makes memories," said Castagno.

The church also held a midnight mass that kicked-off Christmas with a concert.

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