History

The 35th Annual Solvang Nativity Pageant is a cherished tradition of the Solvang Julefest Celebration. This year’s Pageant is an elaborately staged presentation of the biblical nativity story featuring internationally recognized singers, professional narration, local actors and live animals.


We are very pleased to feature our pre-show activities, including the live SNAP Jazz Band, Prayer Tent and Food Court serving hot drinks.


In 1984, local resident, the late Earl Petersen, got the idea for the pageant from a traveling animal show that came through Solvang that year. Earl hired some of the animals from that show. Local churches and volunteers put a narrative together from the gospel accounts, sung Christmas carols, transformed the llama into a camel, and along with the sheep and donkey they were on their way.


As the pageant grew in popularity it was moved from Petersen Square to its present location at the Festival Theater. In addition to Earl, other vital producers, directors and visionaries over the years include: Bob and Donnie Rohrbach, Everett and Dorothy Parker, Ralph and Marjorie Tayloe, Steve Battaglia and Jim Richard.


The Pageant is currently run by Janette Swanson, Lawrence Gerard, Devorah Sklar. For the last decade, Janette has been involved in the Pageant in many roles and took over the role of the Executive Producer and Director last year. Lawrence Gerard, our Musical Director first fell in love with the pageant in 2014 when he was the accompanist and has been instrumental in the development of the Pageant both musically but also creatively since then. Devorah Sklar joined us three years ago as Assistant Director, Marketing Director and Graphic Designer, she has many years experience producing and marketing concerts and events and has also become enamoured with Nativity Pageant. Maurice Sklar, Concert Violinist, first joined the Pageant in 2015, and has become an intricate member of our creative team and our musical MC. We are so thrilled to have Julie Meyer return again to the Pageant, her amazing talent and beautiful songs have added so much to our production. Last year Julie invited her dear friend, David Brymer, Singer/Song Writer and Dove Award winner to share his immense talent and charm with us. We are so pleased to have all our wonderful special guest artists with us this year. Please take a moment to read their bios and about their artistic accomplishments.


The Nativity Pageant is true to its original roots by telling the biblical account of the first Christmas, using folks from the local community and now complemented by world-class artists, yet still performed under the beauty of the same starry sky.