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Church offers ‘Night’ to remember

A local church will host a free, interactive event this Saturday for families that want to get immersed in the true meaning of Christmas.

Parents and children will enjoy a Night in Bethlehem this Saturday afternoon at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church. Volunteers will dress as bakers, carpenters, blacksmiths and other townsfolk to recreate the biblical setting.

“We transform the church to simulate Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth,” said Westminster Kids Director and Event Coordinator Kelly Griffin.

More than a half-dozen tents will allow children to make their own pottery bowls, Christmas ornaments and other craft projects. Children will also walk with lambs and goats in the courtyard petting zoo.

Children pet barnyard animals during last year’s Night in Bethlehem event at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church.

“We also have a shepherd in the courtyard for the children to meet,” Griffin said.

Families will enjoy free snacks and beverages as they walk by a blacksmith in the marketplace and enjoy live performances by singers and more. Free holiday pictures will be offered and either emailed or mailed to visitors.

Donations are encouraged — but not required — to support the Suffolk Night Stay Program. Organized by the Coalition Against Poverty, the program features participating churches providing shelter and food to individuals and families who usually have nowhere else to go in the winter.

Griffin said this will be the second year the church has held a Night in Bethlehem, after about 300 people attended the inaugural event last year.

“Based on the buzz that we got last year, we’re expecting it to be even bigger this year,” she said.

Night in Bethlehem will be from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at 3488 Godwin Blvd. Call 620-9652 for more information.