Celebrating the season under the black light

Light of Hope Community Church holds annual Christmas puppet show

Photos by Corey Evan
What would Christmas be without the Nativity scene?

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

For many, it seems like the holiday season comes and goes much too quickly. But before the 2018 holiday season packed up and went, Sheila Diggs and her team of talented volunteers put on the Light of Hope Community Church’s annual ‘Dream A Neon Puppets’ Variety Show in the Ron Murray Performing Arts Center at Hemet High School.

Raffle prizes and other goodies abounded for the show’s youngest audience members.

“We are blessing the community,” says Diggs, “So families can come out, enjoy some laughter, learn about Jesus Christ, everything. That’s what we’re doing.”
In addition to Light of Hope volunteers, Hemet High Theatre students were directly involved in the production. Both Hemet and San Jacinto school districts helped in the production.
In fine Christmas tradition, the show opened with a masterful portrayal of the Nativity scene. This came complete with masterful dance moves, paying tribute to the newborn King of Nazareth. As time passed, the program picked up the pace as dancers from Not of the World Dance Studio brought in new moves as they honored old traditions. Then the lights went out and the puppets took over under the black lights.
In addition to fan favorites such as the Veggietales’ 12 Days of Christmas, fans and families were greeted with new characters for 2018: Nemo of Finding Nemo/Dory fame swam into view, and Olaf came in from the Frozen world to thaw a few hearts just to name a few.

Not of this World dance studio supplied routines that were truly not of this world.

The show may not have attracted a standing-room only crowd, but this ensured there were plenty of door prizes and raffle baskets to go around. During intermission, Diggs and her team showered the youngest members of the audience with lots of gifts.
The fact that entertainment options in the San Jacinto Valley are limited, even during the holidays season, is just one of many reasons Diggs and Light of Hope put on this show each Christmas: “This is just giving them something positive to do,” according to Diggs. “I hope more kids come (in future years). This show is for everybody, it’s not just one age.”
Proceeds from the show go right toward production of next year’s show, ensuring the quality of future shows continues to improve.
Diggs thanked Light of Hope and its pastor Larry Diggs, the Soboba Foundation, Richard Perry of VIP Autos, Walmart, Connie and Louie of World Ventures, all the parents who helped facilitate their children’s participation and last, but certainly not least, Jesus Christ.
If you’re interested in performing or assisting with the 2019 Christmas Show, Sheila Diggs encourages the help. Please contact Light of Hope at 951-487-2400 for complete details.

Young ones were delighted to see the Veggietales crop up.

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