The big light shining over Vernon’s south end indicating the way to Emmanuel Baptist Church and its popular Christmas tradition Bethlehem Star is off for 2020.
But the church is still running with a scaled-down version of the event.
In place of Bethlehem Star, which saw the church converted into the Biblical city with a market place, Roman Centurian training and live animals, is an unmanned Christmas scene that tells the story of the birth of Christ.
Each evening from 5:30-9 p.m. until Christmas Eve, visitors can drive up to the main church parking lot at 3412-15th Ave. on Mission Hill.
An automated presentation runs for about five minutes with a five-minute interval in between. There will be information provided as to how you can tune your vehicle radio to watch and listen to the Christmas story which is broadcast over a radio frequency.
Admission is free.
“We felt, especially in this year of global turmoil and uncertainty, we wanted to remind ourselves of the hope and joy that the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, gives us,” said Emmanuel Baptist Pastor Don Reeve. “We know that many in our community have made Bethlehem Star an annual event on your calendar and didn’t want these unusual circumstances to cause us to do nothing or cancel everything.”
Reeve said, so far, the event has gone well.
“There are some things we’re still working out and some things we’re tweaking,” he said.