Christmas is a time of tradition, and one of our favorite family traditions is visiting Bethlehem Revisited in Waxahachie. The little gingerbread town, famous for it’s historic homes and downtown shopping, steps back even further in time to the days of the birth of Jesus. Located behind Central Presbyterian Church at 402 N. College St., a permanent model of the town of Bethlehem has been built. Local volunteers, even entire families, don period clothing and ways of speaking for 6 nights, to celebrate the birth of a baby in the city’s stable.
A visit begins outside the city gates, where you wait among the shepherds and their live sheep for the visit from the angel. Shortly thereafter, Joseph and pregnant Mary make their way through the fields, on their way to find boarding. We follow the couple as they make their way into the city, but the shepherd’s stay behind, still to be visited by the 3 Kings on live camels, provided by Texas Camel Corps, a reproduction company based in Texas.
As the couple stop among the many shops in town, with volunteers busy making bread, grape juice, baskets, clothing, etc., they are turned away until they arrive at the stable. Among the live animals, the couple and their new baby settle down, as a crowd of spectators watch. After the 3 kings arrive, who have followed the star shining above the manger, we meander off to visit the rest of the city of Bethlehem.
Here, the beautiful religious experience transforms into a living history event, as the locals discuss with the crowds their various occupations in old Bethlehem. Children stomp grapes, and sell chickens and goats in the marketplace. Watch as they make candles and mill grain for their bread. It’s very interactive and fun, as the actors will stop in terror at the sight of cell phones and cameras, asking “What magic have you?” But it is them, not the visitors, that have brought the magic these nights.
Bethlehem Revisited runs November 30, Dec. 1 & 2, and December 7, 8 and 9 from 6pm – 9pm. The performances are repeated every 30 minutes. Enhance your visit by attending the Waxahachie Candlelight Home Tour or visiting Enchanted Pines E-Z Glide, an outdoor, synthetic ice, skating rink. For more information on these events, visit the Waxahachie Chamber http://waxahachiechamber.com/calendar/bethlehem.php