A LIVE nativity is returning to the streets of Durham.

The event will see Durham Market Place filled with live animals, angels, shepherds and Mary, Joseph and a baby Jesus doll in a re-telling of the Christmas story.

The free event, organised by Durham Business Improvement District (Durham BID) in collaboration with St Nicholas Church, will be held at 6pm on Thursday. The free-to-attend event will see parishioners from St Nicholas’ Church re-enact the most famous Biblical story of them all – the Nativity – re-telling the birth of Jesus Christ.

King Herod will appear from the balcony of the Town Hall, and the three wise men making their grand entrance into the open-air theatre space on real camels.

Adam Deathe,business engagement manager at Durham BID, said: “Amidst the frenzy that can be preparing for the festivities, from Christmas shopping to all the parties, spending time with family and friends and making sure cards are sent off before the final postage date, it can be easy to sometimes forget the reason why so many of us celebrate Christmas in the first place.

“The Live Nativity is the perfect opportunity for a moment of quietness and calm, to gather in the city with loved ones and watch the parishioners of St Nicholas Church re-tell the story of the first Christmas.”

“Whatever your beliefs, everyone is welcome to come along to the event and experience what has now become a much-loved family tradition for many people across Durham.”

Now in its fourth year, the Live Nativity is a highlight for many families’ calendars in the run up to Christmas, with hundreds of people attending the event last year. Many eateries across the city will remain open slightly later than planned on the evening of the Live Nativity to cater for the crowds.