Imagine making the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem as Mary and Joseph did for the purpose of the census. On the guided journey through a wooded park, following a path lit only be candles and bonfires, groups of 25 travelers will encounter shepherds, the Wise men, a choir of Angels, townspeople, livestock and the Imperial Roman Army on horseback.
Each stop along the path tells another part of the Christmas story and leads to the recreation of the Bethlehem village where costumed “village residents” mingle by the bonfire. There are chickens and goats to pet, and nearly a dozen shops to see demonstrations and sample the shopkeepers “wares” as they appeared over 2,000 years ago. Upon being turned away by the Inn Keeper, travelers visit to the stable where the baby Jesus lay in the manger, surrounded by family and, of course, goats and donkeys! Last year 3,750 area residents “traveled” the Journey to Bethlehem.
Journey to Bethlehem partners with Love in Action Tri-cities and volunteers from 25 churches in the Grand Haven/Spring Lake/Ferrysburg area. There are over 500 volunteers involved in the event, with about 300 in full costume each night. The volunteers build the sets, tend the fires, serve as guides, ride in the Imperial Roman Army, sing in the choir or serve free cookies and hot chocolate to all of the travelers. (Each year, loyal volunteers donate nearly 750 dozen cookies.)
The event occurs the second weekend of December and runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday, after dusk (December 7,8 & 9, 2017). Tickets are only $5 each and are available starting November 11 online at www.journey2bethlehem.com/tickets. Tickets usually sell-out and are not available at the door.
The whole family from kids to grandparents, book clubs, youth groups and sports clubs have found the event to be exciting, interesting and enjoyable. Needless to say, I believe this is a significant event and one that to your audience would find appealing!