Journey to Bethlehem cancelled

Mary and Joseph (played Janyn and Greg Towns) give their donkeys something to eat while stopping for a rest on their way to Bethlehem for the census. photos by Alicia McCutcheon

MINDEMOYA – After 21 years of bringing the ‘greatest story ever told’ to life, Mindemoya’s Journey to Bethlehem is taking a break this December.

Typically held on the first weekend of every December, in what has become a much-loved Christmas tradition for families from across Manitoulin and beyond, Journey to Bethlehem had travellers make the virtual trek across Judea to the town of Bethlehem, just as Joseph and Mary did, where they encountered shepherds watching their flocks, a choir of angels, a busy market and dastardly Roman soldiers. The travellers would find themselves, after being turned away at the inn, at a stable where they would meet Mary, Joseph and their newborn baby son Jesus, all played by local actors. Many local infants, through the years, have had the particular honour of the role of baby Jesus.

One member of the organizing committee, Karlene Scott, said it was a number of things that caused this year’s cancellation, but put it simply: “We need to take a break.”

“We’ve had a wonderful 21 years, we just need a break,” Ms. Scott said, adding that this doesn’t mean it’s goodbye forever.

For anyone invested in taking the ‘trip to Bethlehem’ this year, you’ll first have to make the trip to the North Shore town of Bruce Mines where the eternal story will be retold this year on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23. The ‘Holy Walk’ begins at Bruce Mines United Church Friday from 6 to 9 pm and Saturday, 6 to 8:30 pm.