Nebraska December 03, 2018
This Small Nebraska Town Has A Holiday Tradition That People Come From All Over To See
It seems like every town in Nebraska has its own signature holiday event that the residents hold near and dear to their hearts. In the western Nebraska town of Hemingford, their annual event is one that brings the entire community together and draws visitors from all around.
Located in Box Butte County, Hemingford has just over 800 residents. It's safe to say that just about everyone there has been involved in the town's Christmas diorama in some way over the years.
The diorama started way back in 1955 when Rev W. James Hoare brought the idea to the town. He was a fan of visual teaching aids, and in his opinion, there was no better way to learn the story of Christmas than through a huge diorama.
Unfortunately, Rev Hoare passed away before his entire plan could be realized. But he set the wheels in motion, and he left behind his complete plan for the diorama when he died.
Locals picked up the project and continued making colorful panels for the diorama. More were added year by year, telling the story of Christmas in pictures and words.
Eventually, the diorama grew to cover the equivalent of more than 2.5 football fields in length. There are now 16 Christmas scenes featuring 114 wooden cutouts of people, animals, and angels.
Another panel is dedicated to Rev Hoare and his vision that inspired this unique, unforgettable display that draws visitors in from all over the state.
Spotlights shine on the panels, making them visible and readable from your car. Locals and visitors alike can be seen lining up in their cars to slowly roll down the line, taking in the whole beautiful story as they go.
There is music, as well - a loudspeaker plays religious Christmas songs to accompany your annual visit to this unique attraction.
Rev Hoare's goal was to create a display that would tell the spiritual story of Christmas and awaken a sense of wonder in viewers. It has certainly achieved both of these things in the more than 60 years it has graced the little town of Hemingford.
The Hemingford Christmas Diorama is open from shortly after Thanksgiving to after the beginning of the new year. There is no charge to visit the diorama, which is located just west of the Box Butte County Fairgrounds.
For more information about the history of this unforgettable Christmas attraction,
Have you ever driven through this unique holiday diorama? What was your favorite part? Share your stories in the comments!