The Gig Harbor Christmas Nativity Display Story

The story of this display began in a conversation between Ron Roark, owner of the Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, and Gary Wiens, President of Burning Heart Ministries. This conversation was sparked by the impending decision of the Gig Harbor City Council concerning the display of the traditional Nativity in the Skansie Brothers Park, under the Christmas tree. Ron’s suggestion was that if the Council’s vote was to not permit the display, that he would offer his property at the Boatyard to host a display, if Gary would work with local churches and merchants to sponsor that display.

After the Council’s decision on October 23 to not allow the Nativity display in Skansie Park, the initiative began to present an alternative display. An ad hoc committee was formed, and met on October 26 for initial planning. Funds were raised from several churches, merchants, and other individuals to sublet the space at 3155 Harborview Drive for a Nativity Reception Center, and the vision was born to display the Nativity in the parking area in front of the Center.

After considerable discussion with the owners of the traditional Nativity, the decision was made to purchase a new display. The Horsehead Bay Garden Club volunteered their energies to design the exterior display as a community project, under the theme of “Let Earth Receive Her King!”. Tammi Barber of TLB Events in Tacoma agreed to design the interior of the Reception Center, and the process began of recruiting churches, merchants, and other individuals to present display tables honoring the birth of Christ as the true meaning of the Christmas season.

Over the next month, many churches, merchants, and individuals gave time, energy, and money to bring this vision into reality. Ron Roark made his staff at the Marina & Boatyard available to us, and we are so appreciative of his generous spirit. Carl Conner, who has helped so much with the physical construction of the display, and Chance Busey, who has given his talents in media to promote the display, have been particularly beneficial.

A GoFundMe account was established to assist with raising the funds needed for this project to become a reality, and the citizens of Gig Harbor responded generously, giving over $1500 to assist us. Additional donations may be made to Burning Heart Ministries, Inc. (a 501(C)3 charitable organization), or by going to and donating that way. 

In addition, a number of folks have volunteered their time to staff the Reception Center, welcoming visitors with coffee, hot apple cider, cookies, and Christmas candy to take the chill off as they visit the Waterfront.

Thank You! First of all to our Father in heaven for the indescribable gift of His Son, Jesus, and then to the many who have made this project a reality. Blessings to all of you!

Gary Wiens, 12/8/2017