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Benham nativity scene entertains locals since 1960s


BENHAM, Ky (WYMT) - It is a staple in the tri-city area of Harlan County. For nearly 50 years, a little nativity scene in Benham has entertained people of all ages.

From afar it might look normal, but after talking with Benham Mayor Wanda Humphrey, you realize this Christmas creation is not your average nativity scene.

"We always called the angel Dolly Parton because mom always thought she had to have a big, bouffant, yellow, golden tresses and everything like that," said Humphrey.

Humphrey's mother started this project back in 1966. Humphrey said locals have put their quirky twist on it ever since.

"The wise men we called Elvis, Tim and Denny because they were workers. We have one now that looks just like our post master. I do not know whether they had red heads back then but we have a red headed shepherd," said Humphrey.

Locals tell WYMT it is a favorite around town. But that does not mean the nativity scene is immune to a little holiday mischief. Just recently, a small pig figurine went missing from the display. Humphrey said she worried it was stolen; however, after Joice Polson, who helps with the upkeep of the stage, took a look, she ended up finding it.

"The pig is back," said Polson.

Polson said the search was over after she noticed something funny behind Joseph.

"The wind had blown his outfit and when I reached behind it to straighten him up, there was the little pig," said Polson.

Now three pigs, along with their unique assortment of friends, stand guard over this little Benham Bethlehem. Humphrey said the nativity scene goes up every year on the day before thanksgiving and stays up until January second.


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