allsaintsThe Greater Red Bank Green has never lacked for historic churches and meetinghouses, and beginning this weekend one of its most picturesque places of worship — All Saints Memorial — will be initiating an all-new tradition at the landmark “Old Stone Church” (located at the crossroads of Navesink and Monmouth Avenues, just inland from Route 36). Going on over the course of three days, December 9 through 11, the first annual Winter Festival offers a rain-or-shine range of attractions that include homemade refreshments, handcrafted gifts, kid-friendly activities — and, as a centerpiece, a Live Nativity scene on view at the church’s historic carriage-shed outbuildings.

The story of the Nativity will be presented each of the three days, featuring live animal friends, with attendees invited to enjoy a cup of cocoa or cider as they view the display from hay-bale seating. Also on hand will be face artists, holiday shopping with vendors of such handmade items as fresh wreaths from Maine, homemade baked goods and candy, gifts for the coffee lovers, hand knitted items and more.  As a special attraction on December 10, Santa Claus will be taking time out from his hectic schedule to pose for free photos between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m.

There’s no charge to attend the Live Nativity, but attendees are each encouraged to bring one nonperishable food item for the local food pantry charity. Proceeds from sales benefit the community outreach programs at All Saints, and assist with the upkeep of the buildings and grounds (including the on-site cemetery) of the church campus, a National Historic Landmark.

Hours for the first annual Winter Festival are Friday 4:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday 12 to 8 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the church website or call (732)291-0214.