Church Brings Bethlehem to Columbia
"Jesus is really the reason of the season," said Upham."We don't like to take Christ out of Christmas, and here at Fairview, we are able to introduce the entire meaning of Christmas through the interaction."
The tour begins with a group of travelers encountering a shepherd who guides them into town in search of the Messiah.
They then meet the ladies at the gate who send them to talk with the innkeeper, who usually knows the talk of the town. From there, participants go to the stable where Jesus has been born, and the three wise men present their gifts to him. The last stop sends them into the church to celebrate with songs.
"This is a great activity for all ages, and I would just encourage anyone who has never done it before to come out and walk through," said church member Ed Vanscive.
"Seems like it just continues to change. Maybe that's one of the things that brings people back," Upham said. "It's not the same every year, and they're not just coming to watch people just stand around."
Fairview United Methodist expects more than 500 people attended the interactive nativity this weekend.