Guided by Light – ‘Return to Bethlehem’ in Photos

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (12/13/12) – This past weekend, and into the early half of the week, thousands of tri-state residents used the pale glow cast by the Star of Bethlehem to navigate First Baptist Church’s 18th annual “Return to Bethlehem” walk-through drama. 

Created to teach participants about daily life in Bethlehem near the time that Jesus Christ is believed to have been born, “Return to Bethlehem” has reached a massive audience over the years and has become a popular, seasonal mainstay of our region.

Alongside live animals, including sheep, goats, and a camel, reenactors in the drama portray a variety of archetypal members of Bethlehem’s old-world society, including shepherds, merchants, beggars, inn-keepers, Roman soldiers, prisoners, and more. Keeping in character, each member acting in the historical event speaks as though they have lived in Bethlehem their whole life and even try to barter with passersby. Supplementing the theme, those walking through the narrow, dimly lit “streets” and “alleyways” are encouraged to follow a bright star that remains visible throughout much of the walk-through. As one may imagine, the pathway and star leads participants to the birthplace of Jesus Christ himself—an unkempt stable.

In addition, those waiting to make their trek through the drama this year were treated to live music and were offered tasty refreshments after finishing.

All in all, the large, four-day turnout for First Baptist Church’s “Return to Bethlehem”—which was accomplished regardless of low temperatures and frigid winds—evidenced the yearly affair’s continued popularity.

In honor of this year’s success, we offer the reader a variety of photos from the event, all of which are attached below.


Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Jeff Harp

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