Around 50 volunteers are working away at St Peter’s Primary School in Epping, which hosts one of the most traditional and evocative Christmas events in Melbourne.
Under the guidance of Virgilio Marcianò, builders, electricians and workers are constructing the replica of a village from over 2000 years ago for the annual Walk Through Bethlehem event – a living Nativity scene that continues to captivate young and old.
This year, the event will take place from December 21 to 23.
Just like every other year, tens of thousands of visitors will flock to the event over the three days, crossing the threshold of a Roman castle to enter into an ancient village filled with blacksmiths, bakers, shoemakers, potters, shepherds and winemakers, all portraying a scene reminiscent of ancient Palestine.
Bethlehem is a one-way city, culminating in the living Nativity scene, complete with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the angel, and the Three Wise Men who are accompanied by three towering camels transported from Adelaide especially for the event.
Featuring music and other special effects like fake snow, the experience is like no other and has people from all over Victoria coming back for more each year.
While the gates to Bethlehem will be open from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm, food stalls and free live entertainment will fill Wedge Street from 7:00 pm to keep visitors occupied while waiting in line.
With entry by gold coin donation, this event is entirely for the enjoyment of its visitors and reflects the true Christmas spirit.