Tickets are all but gone for each of the four performances of this year's Singing Christmas Tree at Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez.
The free performances will run Friday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 11, with shows beginning at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.
Greg Bearden, Abilene's minister of music, said all tickets are reserved for the evenings of Dec. 10 and 11 but that a few remain for Friday evening and Sunday's matinee.
"The tradition of it here has been going on for so long, 27 years, that we have a lot of people who say their Christmas season begins with the Singing Christmas Tree," Bearden said.
This year's performance, the church's 27th, is subtitled All Kings Must Bow, and it will feature 114 members of the church choir assembled on platforms that make up the 40-foot tree.
"You can only really see their head and shoulders so they almost appear as if they are ornaments," Bearden said.
The performances also will feature a 40-piece orchestra and scenes reminiscent of Charles Dickens' classics and the Nativity, Bearden said.
"We try to (change the performances) year to year," Bearden said. "It's not always the same, the music and some of the songs remain the same. We always conclude with the Hallelujah Chorus."
Jack Reynolds, whose voice is heard at the beginning and end of the church's Sunday television broadcast, will narrate the evening.
Assembling the 40-foot tree is about a two-week process, Bearden said. Starting Dec. 4, staff will assemble the parts of the platform and begin decorating the tree with lights and freshly cut greenery.
"With the 40 foot tree being entirely covered in fresh greenery you can smell it all through the (sanctuary) and it really is an exciting time," Bearden said.
He said it takes "boxes and boxes and boxes" of greenery to cover the massive platform.
Bearden said people return each year because the tree is so exciting.
"We have church groups that will request a block of tickets and bring their entire group and it's just really exciting," Bearden said. "This is not a drab, dull, monotonous type of drama. It's a very exciting, brightly lit, upbeat Christmas presentation. It's joyful. It's a lot of fun."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.