Ancient Bethlehem goes 21st century as First Baptist Church of Burnet institutes mobile phone reservation protocol for Main Street Bethlehem. The Christmas event is still free, but tickets are required for entrance. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
Burnet’s Main Street Bethlehem converts to the 21st century with online reservations for the first time. The event, which is 6-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12, is a walk back in time to the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago.
To eliminate long lines and crowding, First Baptist Church of Burnet, which puts on the recreation, decided to offer online tickets this year.
Attendees may print a copy after making reservations or show a digital copy of the ticket from a phone. The event is free, but donations are appreciated to support the annual event.
Main Street Bethlehem has been sponsored by the church for almost 30 years and features volunteers re-enacting the days of first century Judea. Roman soldiers roam the streets along with townspeople and their animals and merchants and their wares. Revelers gather in the tavern, beggars sit on corners, and tax collectors seek payment as visitors walk through the town hearing rumors of a newborn king. Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus are present at the end of the tour.
Located on a full city block two streets east of the Burnet County courthouse square at 300 E. Washington, Main Street Bethlehem begins at 6 p.m. each evening. The last reservation is 8:30 p.m.
According to First Baptist Church, for this year only and due to COVID-19, the customary Bethlehem bread, cookies, and hot chocolate will not be served. Make your own bread from a recipe on the church’s website.