By Craig Day, News On 6
BARTLESVILLE, OK -- First Baptist Church is inviting you to Bethlehem in Bartlesville. It's a holiday favorite that takes you back in time 2,000 years to the birth of Christ. The event is back after taking a break for a couple of years.
It's a free event that brings to life the reason for the season.
Pastor Terry Long says the makeshift village on the parking lot of Bartlesville's First Baptist Church is quite a sight
"We have a camel. We have Roman Soldiers on horseback. We have chickens and goats and sheep, just everything you might expect to find," said Terry Long, First Baptist Church Pastor.
When Bethlehem in Bartlesville comes to life, it takes visitors back in time. The church recreates what the village looked like when Christ was born, from a market to the manger.
"With all the sights and sounds of basically a full sensory experience of Bethlehem," said Long.
The event attracts 4,000 people each year. With good weather in the forecast, more than 5,000 people are expected this year.
"We hope that they are immediately ushered from modern day Bartlesville, Oklahoma into a very realistic portrayal of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago," said Long.
In addition to the animals, that portrayal also includes more than 100 characters in costume. Two-hundred volunteers have worked for weeks to build the props and sets.
"At First Baptist Church, we're committed to emphasizing and holding up before the world the birth of Christ as the reason for Christmas, the reason for this season," said Long.
The church hopes families visit, creating a new holiday tradition, while cherishing the true story of Christmas.
Bethlehem in Bartlesville is scheduled Friday and Saturday, December 12 & 13 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. First Baptist Church is located on the block between 4th and 5th Street on South Cherokee Avenue.