Away in a manger in Sharkey County285 Nativity scenes represent the world over

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CARY — If Mary Hazel Weissinger can find a Nativity scene from Antarctica and Australia, her collection will span every continent and more than two dozen countries.

The Cary resident has been collecting Nativity scenes for a decade, and the fruits of her work — all 285 of them — fill the activity room at Goodman Memorial United Methodist Church in the small Sharkey County town of Cary.

They were on exhibit for the public for free Saturday and will be again the next two Saturdays, Dec. 15 and 22, and Sunday, Dec. 16. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

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Weissinger’s daughter, Shan Bilotta of Arlington, Tenn., was overseeing the collection Saturday with a backdrop of Christmas music and holiday-themed baked goods.

“We started doing this about four years ago,” Bilotta said. “We originally had them at my mother’s house, but we got up over 200.”