Performance of ‘The Gift’ on Hold at Back Mountain Harvest Assembly Due to Setbacks in Construction

KINGSTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A huge outdoor production that's become a holiday tradition is taking another year off in Luzerne County.

There won't be any performances of the outdoor musical drama "The Gift" this year.

Every year for more than 20 years, thousands have flocked to Back Mountain Harvest Assembly to watch the live outdoor performance of "The Gift," featuring music and live animals.

It costs the church about $40,000 to put together and between 10,000 and 15,000 people show up each year.

The Christmas performance is a tradition for many.

"I enjoyed it a whole lot. It was very beautiful performances. I also have friends who perform in it, so that gives me a reason to come,” said Jerry Paxton of Shavertown.

Last year, there were no performances because of construction on a new ministry center and new amphitheater where the Christmas performances will be held.

There was lots of excitement about the return of "The Gift." Performances were planned for this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but then came unexpected delays.

"As with any building, there's certain snags and snafus that happened so you know that was there and obtaining some bleachers was also another issue,” said Pastor Ray Petts.

This season, the show will not go on.

Church leaders said they have gotten plenty of phone calls about that an d people are disappointed.

"It's something that we love to do, it takes several hundred individuals to put it on, but it's a real passion that harvest has to give back to their community,” said Pastor Petts.

Church officials said next holiday season, the gift will be back, and they say it is always free to the public.