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Living Bethlehem city replica offering performances Dec. 13-17 in Livermore

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Living Bethlehem city replica offering performances Dec. 13-17 in Livermore

Part of the replica city as it is being constructed.

Photo contributed/

POSTED December 5, 2012 1:03 a.m.

LIVERMORE — Living Bethlehem - a 30,000-square-foot replica of that city as it was 2,000 years ago - is open from Dec. 13-17.

It takes place at the corner of Third Street and Church Street in Livermore just off First Street.  Best route is to exit Interstate 580 onto First Street and go west making a left on Maple Street where guides will direct you to parking.

Living Bethlehem is open to the public and donations will be accepted. Performances start every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

There will be over 250 volunteers including approximately 150 actors and actresses for five shows a night re-enacting the Nativity Story.  Roman soldiers will order the crowd around as Joseph and Mary enter Bethlehem on a donkey.  After signing the census, the couple will walk to the area of inns and will be rejected. With no other choices, they will be directed to a stable.

At this point an Angel will appear from a 30 foot tower, to sing the Gloria, while shepherds herd their sheep outside the Bethlehem walls.  The shepherds will reenter the city to see the newly born child.  They depart to join the Magi gathering outside the walls with a camel and an entourage.  All will return for a closing song.  This routine will re-occur four more times during the evening.  Additionally, inside Living Bethlehem there are demonstrations of basket, bread and coin making of that era.  The entire city will be taken apart and stored in two shipping containers for reconstruction annually.

The purpose is to expose a generation of children to the true meaning of Christmas or “Put Christ back in Christmas”.  The craftsmen demonstrations will teach children how bread, blankets, baskets and coins were made two centuries ago.

For more information go to

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