Christmas journey

Lights from the little town of Bethlehem shined through a dark Duncan Memorial Park on Thursday evening.
Krystle Wagner
Dec 13, 2013

Groups of visitors slowly walked through the Journey to Bethlehem as Roman soldiers barked orders and shopkeepers offered samples of breads, fruits and cheese.

For the second year, more than 300 volunteers from more than 20 Tri-Cities-area churches joined together to give community members an experience of life in Bethlehem.

The journey continues today and Saturday, but it's sold out.

Kay Bytwerk gave visitors identification cards in case a Roman guard stopped them along their journey to Bethlehem. Bytwerk said she volunteered for this year’s event to honor Jesus and join with other Christians in the Tri-Cities.

Throughout the journey, Bytwerk helped lead the group to meet Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

“The children seeing the star was especially fun,” she said.

As visitors walked through the Grand Haven park, Magi, scribes and prophets spoke about the birth of the Messiah that would soon follow. After going through a census, visitors flowed throughout Nazareth looking at pottery, baskets, carvings and foods.

Emery and Avery Smith-Bagley said they looked forward to seeing the Roman guards because their father was playing that role this year.

“He gets to yell at us,” Emery said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




To Get In The Spirit:


We went last night. It was a fun experience for all of us.


It's a wonderful thing the people and churches of our community does for all..thank you ! Merry Christmas to you all !


I want to thank the collective churches of Grand Haven for a wonderful "Journey to Bethlehem". It was a beautiful night and a moving experience to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Thank you!


Nice article, but it's Bethlehem, not Nazareth ("After going through a census, visitors flowed throughout Nazareth looking at pottery, baskets, carvings and foods.") The travelers were 'coming from' Nazareth for the census in the city of their ancestry, Bethlehem. :-)

If you missed it this year, remember to check with your local churches next year, in early November to see when & where tickets will be available. They sell out very fast.

To those who thank us (the volunteers) for J2B, you're very welcome. We are blessed to have a city that works with us in letting us put this on in Duncan Woods and hope that we can continue to bless the area with this for years to come!

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