ANSWER: According to Dr. Dave Seibold's book "In the Path of Destiny," the scene dates back to the mid 1960s when it was first erected.
The book states that: "During the winter Holiday Season the Fountain and Dewey Hill are transformed into a giant Bethlehem for the nightly telling of the Christmas story with eight-foot shepards tending flocks of four-foot sheep, 22-foot angels, 32-foot camels and an equally oversized manger for the Nativity Scene.
"Betty Ellis, who became an accomplished painter after taking it up in her 50s, designed the setting in 1962 and then supervised the construction and painting of the massive wooden figures. In December 1965, Gov. George Romney was present to dedicate the Nativity Scene, the occasion preceded by a parade down Washington Street ending at the Waterfront Stadium where 15,000 people watched as Romney spoke and
then threw the switch."
As a matter of fact, each year, Grand Haven Rotary Club members put up the figures and manger on Dewey Hill so that the story of Christmas can again come alive. During the off-season, the holiday scene is covered from view.
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