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Journey to Bethlehem - First Night Media Release

December 8, 2006
Bethlehem Comes to Life
Auburn, Wash. (Dec. 8) - Ancient Bethlehem was busy Friday night as more than 500 people came through.
The Auburn, Wash., reproduction of the journey to Bethlehem and the celebration of the birth of Jesus brought people from as far as two hours away.
“We expected 1,000 people over three nights,” explained Judy Toop, ticket giver, “But we had 512 people come through on the first night. People are excited about coming, even when we tell them that there is an hour long wait.”
The interactive tour takes people through the journey to Bethlehem with stops to visit the wisemen, shepherds, the scribes, and the tax collector. Inside the city gates, the marketplace is buzzing with the activity of the blacksmith, the food sellers, the Roman guards, the village dancers, and the craftspeople.
“My daughters enjoyed this so much, they begged to go again,” said Elizabeth Lake, from Gold Bar, Wash., at the end of the evening.
Debbie Gamble, from Auburn, Wash., was impressed with the quality of the production. “It’s very realistic and authentic,” she said, as she sipped hot cider after her tour. “I’d recommend coming. Very well done.”
Outside of the city gates, “tourists” find out about the birth of Jesus from a trio of angels before making their way to the stable to celebrate the birth of the Messiah.
The Auburn Academy Church, located at 5010 Auburn Way South, is hosting this event. It’s the first year the church has produced Journey to Bethlehem. The church gained inspiration for the idea from the Kelso-Longview Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Washington.
Journey to Bethlehem continues through Sunday night, Dec. 10. Free tours leave approximately every 15 minutes. A musical program is provided in the church sanctuary while event attendees wait for their tour time.

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