December 9, 2008

Camels being priced out of nativity scenes

Camels are getting too pricey for live Christmas nativity scenes in Wisconsin and are being replaced by much cheaper donkeys and sheep, suppliers say.

It may cost $2,100 to rent three camels on Christmas Eve for those wanting to stage live Christmas pageant nativity scenes, and hard times are prompting people to economize with $250 for six donkeys and sheep, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

It goes up and down with the economy, Kathy Meyer, whose family owns Jo-Don Farms in Franksville, Wis., told the newspaper. We were expecting this year to be worse. Some groups cut camels and went with donkeys and sheep instead.

Meanwhile at Glacier Ridge Animal Farm in Van Dyne, Wis., the farm's five camels are booked for a 40-day engagement at the Oshkosh, Wis., Celebration of Lights, but owner Mark Schultz said he rented them at a discount as a community service.