An enduring symbol of Christmas continues on display through December 31 in Algona. Marvin Chickering, chair of the Algona Methodist Men’s Club, says his town’s unique nativity scene dates back over 50 years to a POW camp in Algona. German prisoner Edward Kaib built the nativity scene in 1944 after becoming homesick during Christmas. Kaib donated the scene to Algona with the condition that it be open for free viewing. Chickering says some 5,000 visitors view the nativity scene each year. The nativity has 60 figures, all half-life size, including four camels and 30 sheep. Chickering says there seems to be more focus on the meaning of the nativity scene this year in the wake of the events of September 11th. He says the message of the nativity scene and the story behind its creation are something that still rings true 57 years later. Kaib died in 1988, and the identity of the other prisoners who helped him is not really known. The nativity scene is open to the public weekdays from 2:00 until 9:00 P.M.
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