• Admission is free. Make reservations at svbethlehem.org.
The second annual interfaith event, Journey Through Bethlehem, is happening December 8-12 in the North and South Exhibit Buildings of the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Afton. Volunteers will recreate the appearance and activities that Bethlehem residents may have experienced on the night of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.
Guests are invited to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as they visit an interactive recreation of Bethlehem’s town square, learning about Hebrew beliefs, traditions, goods, and activities. They can witness a Jewish wedding, taste foods that Jews may have enjoyed, pay their own tribute to Caesar, participate in games and dances, visit a petting zoo, and find crafts that they can take home. The focal experience of the event is a live nativity, where guests can contemplate on the reason for the season, and choose a sacred moment in the stable with shepherds and the Holy Family.
Families and guests of all ages are invited to attend the event, which is a five-day open house. Guests are invited to come and stay as long as they would like. Additionally, organizers have set aside a session of the event at 1 p.m. on Saturday for guests who have special needs and may want to attend with a smaller crowd.
Organizer Jeff England, who serves as a member of the Afton Stake Presidency for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is pleased with the community’s response to last year’s event, and encourages those who attended last year to reach out to their friends and family, inviting them to attend this year. “We are grateful for the way our community responded to our Journey Through Bethlehem experience last year and look forward to another opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior in this way once again. Our vision has always been one where Christians of all faiths in our community would come together in unity to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Our hope in creating this activity was to provide a way for individuals and families to experience the spirit of Christmas in a spiritual and contemplative way.”
Jeremy Daniel, who serves as Stake President for the Thayne Stake, shared the following statement with SVI Media. “I hope each of us is able to see Christmas as an opportunity to come together as neighbors, friends, and family, to focus on the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. As we search for those moments this Christmas to feel the spirit of kindness and love for one another, I invite you to come and participate in the experience of A Journey Through Bethlehem. The community has come together to provide an interactive experience to help each of us come closer to the Savior this Christmas season. It is my hope that each of us can attend and participate and feel the love of the Savior, helping each of us follow His example, focus on His life and be more generous in our service and love to all in our community.”
Admission to the event is free, but guests are encouraged to make reservations by visiting svbethlehem.org.