A small village will come to life this weekend offering visitors an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bethlehem during Biblical times.
Organized by the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Hermiston and Irrigon, Journey to Bethlehem is Friday through Sunday from 5-8:30 p.m. behind the Hermiston Seventh-day Adventist Church, 855 W. Highland Ave.
Tours last about 20-30 minutes, and theres musical entertainment in the churchs sanctuary while people wait for their trip. Refreshments are served afterward in the fellowship hall. Theres no admission charge.
Its a gift to the community, said Sheila Botti, drama coordinator.
The bustling scene includes live animals, food preparation and bartering villagers as more than 100 church members demonstrate what life may have been like during the time of Christs birth.
Although sometimes compared to a living Nativity, Botti said Journey to Bethlehem offers much more.
Its an interactive drama, she said. Its not just something youre observing.
Visitors will see everything from shepherds, kings and prophets to a leper camp, a bustling market and a manger scene.
People in the village are baking bread, roasting mushrooms, carrots and chicken. In its sixth year, Botti said visitors who have taken the journey previously are encouraged to come back again.
Youll see something different because theres so much to take in, she said.
Encompassing about an acre, the village is constructed each year in the lot behind the church, said Sharon Peter, church secretary.
About 40 percent of the active members from young children to seniors of each of the three congregations lend a hand in the production, whether as an actor, wardrobe construction, decorations, tour guide, parking logistics, entertainment and refreshments.
It takes almost all of us it takes a village, Botti said.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539.
Journey to Bethlehem
WHEN: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
TIME: 5-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Hermiston Seventh-day Adventist Church, 855 W. Highland Ave.
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 15
TIME: 6-7 p.m. (walk-through only) 7-9 p.m. (drive or walk)
WHERE: Roy Raley Park, 1205 S.W. Court Ave., Pendleton
WHEN: Dec. 21, 6-8 p.m.; Dec. 22, 4-6 p.m.
WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 191 E. Gladys Ave., Hermiston