MERRY CHRISTMAS: Above is the manger scene as depicted by the actors and stage crew of the Bethlehem Walk this year at Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church. From right to left are Tim Charbonneau

Merry Christmas!

Bethlehem Walk raises more than $13,000 this year for the Salvation Army

Despite a 90 km/h windstorm and torrential downpour, Parksville’s 22nd annual Bethlehem Walk still welcomed more than 900 people on opening night.

In total, Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church administrator TammyLynn Campbell said the event raised $13,353, all of which was donated to the Salvation Army. In addition, the event collected three van loads of non perishable goods for the food bank.

Campbell said 5,620 people attended the event over four days, where the biblical story of Christmas was re-enacted by costumed actors in period-accurate displays of Bethlehem.

While the number of attendees was lower than usual, likely due to the weather, Campbell said the amount of money raised this year is “tremendous” considering the lower turnout.

Pastor Barry Nielsen said about half of the 500-member church helped with making the event possible, from baking cookies to refurbishing the Bethlehem set to controlling parking and dressing up in costume. “It’s a mix of everyone from young families to seniors, regardless of age, coming together,” said Nielsen.

On opening night, he said, gusty winds knocked down their outdoor tents and a long queue of people took shelter inside the church building.

But the show went on for their regular Saturday to Tuesday run.

Nielsen said he’s already thinking about next year’s event, noting planning really gets underway in the summer months.

“I’ve seen a lot of Bethlehem Walks across the country and this one is the best quality event,” said Salvation Army major Norm Hamelin. “People aren’t just in costume, they’re in character. It’s so authentic. You feel like you’re there.”

Just Posted

Parksville senior donates money from condo sale to Brazil for school

Giancarlo Chitto donates close to $435,000 to help build educational facility

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Town of Qualicum Beach to sell more than $5M in real estate

Sales to pay for recent real estate purchases, including St. Andrews Lodge

U19B Rage play with heart at provincials

Parksville girls finish fourth despite giving up only four runs in five games

VIDEO: Top winners announced for sand sculpting competition

See the sculptures as they progress through the competition at Parksville Community Park

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan announces new Crown corporation for public works

UPDATED: Putin says he wanted Trump to win in 2016, didn’t interfere

The two leaders arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit

Most Read