Mesa Temple Christmas Lights and International Nativity Display
Dec 3rd – Dec 31st
- Hours5-10 p.m.
- Time5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
The event – previously called one of the “must-see holiday lighting extravaganzas in the United States” – has drawn over a million visitors annually from across Arizona and far beyond to partake of the Christmas spirit on these temple grounds. This event, one of the largest known volunteer-driven Christmas lighting displays in the country, has been a beloved community tradition in the area since 1979.
Included in this free event are hundreds of thousands of lights in a variety of colors adorning citrus, olive and palm trees and in ground-level garden areas and raised planters, replicating flower blossoms and stalks. There are also favorite Biblical displays, including Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem, the prophet Isaiah prophesying of Christ’s birth, the Woman at the Well, Lost Sheep, Shepherd Boy, and the Gift Givers. These will be nestled among the olive trees north of the temple with QR code stands that visitors can scan with a cell phone and link to videos online that give deeper insight to the scenes. Each vignette has its own audio system playing accompanying music and narration. Nearer to Main Street, larger-than-life lighted wisemen and their camels make their way across the spacious lawn. The highlight is a near life-size Italian Fontanini nativity figurines and stable at the northwest corner of the temple with a newly designed star, twinkling with thousands of white lights.
Across the street on the west side, at 455 E. Main St., the Mesa Temple Visitors Center hosts a display of more than 100 international nativities. These representations of Jesus Christ’s birth come in all sizes — from miniature to several feet high; from a variety of mediums used to craft them — wood, copper, porcelain, metal, fabric, resin and natural items picked up by locals in remote areas of the world; and from every continent and various countries and cultures across the globe, including Tonga, Nicaragua, Madagascar, Costa Rica, France, Japan, Mongolia, Ghana and more. A Thomas Kincaid centerpiece nativity will be featured in the main part of the Visitors’ Center with a Kincaid-like chalk painting behind it by local artists. Admission is free and open each evening 5-10 p.m.