Popular event returns to Parksville

Bethlehem Walk attracted more than 10,000 visitors in 2011

The Bethlehem Walk returns this season after a one-year hiatus, a “gift to the community” from the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church.

This will be the 20th year of the event. In 2011, more than 10,000 people wandered through the period-accurate displays that depict life as it was in the town of Christ’s birth about 2,000 years ago.

“It’s exciting for us at the church,” said Bethlehem Walk coordinator Gail Barbero, who estimates the event will employ the efforts of about 350 volunteers, including actors and singers. “It is our gift to the community.”

Each night between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14-17, residents can enter the grounds of the church (550 Pym Street) and be greeted by actors playing roles like shepherds and shopkeepers, using elaborate sets and “introducing the people to the story of Christ,” said Barbero. There is also a special showing for young children and seniors on Dec. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There is no admission fee to walk the grounds and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Bethlehem as it would have been 2,000 years ago, through more than 40 booths set up with blacksmiths, bakers, tanners and other shopkeepers. There will be a choir, cookies, hot drinks and much more.

“What we’re trying to do is take people back in time to Bethlehem,” said Barbero. “There is nothing to purchase and no admission fee.” A huge sleigh will be set up to take donations — both non-perishable food items and money — for the local Salvation Army. In 2011, visitors donated more than $12,000 and what was described as “many van loads” of food.

Last year, the church found it difficult to get all the volunteers it needed for the event, which had become a can’t-miss for locals during the holiday season.

“It’s not a bad thing to take a break sometimes,” said Barbero.

“But we’re glad to be up and running again this year.”

Just Posted

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Oceanside Generals stun Victoria, 3-2

Junior B club snaps seven-year losing streak to Cougars

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read