Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Candle merchants Lucas and Jessica Loggins stand in a row of simulated market booths in the College Hieghts Baptist Church recreation of Biblical Bethlehem on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna. The church's Bethlehem Revisited exhibit will be open nightly until Dec. 21.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Candle merchants Lucas and Jessica Loggins stand in a row of simulated market booths in the College Hieghts Baptist Church recreation of Biblical Bethlehem on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna. The church's Bethlehem Revisited exhibit will be open nightly until Dec. 21.

O little town of Bethlehem

Members of College Heights Baptist Church tried to bring a bit of first-century Judea to 21st century Soldotna when it opened its recreation of Biblical Bethlehem to visitors on Friday night.

The free exhibit Bethlehem Revisited is open from 5 p.m to 8 p.m through Monday.

College Heights’ version of Bethlehem consists of two rows of open-fronted market booths, where church members offer their recreations of Roman-era arts and crafts, featuring the congregation’s recreation of historical crafts and culture. Church members in robes and keffiyehs roam the market with livestock including goats, sheep, and llamas. The camels, alas, are only painted cut-outs.

At the far end of the market, a stage is arranged as a traditional Nativity scene. Church members portraying Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus will make appearances here on the half-hour.

 

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion  Census-taker Gary Couveau registers new arrivals in Bethlehem on Friday, Dec. 18 at the College Heights Baptist Church in Soldotna.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Census-taker Gary Couveau registers new arrivals in Bethlehem on Friday, Dec. 18 at the College Heights Baptist Church in Soldotna.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Tara Heathers' goat Jacob was among the livestock milling through the marketplace of College Heights Baptist Church's Bethlehem Revisited exhibit on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Tara Heathers’ goat Jacob was among the livestock milling through the marketplace of College Heights Baptist Church’s Bethlehem Revisited exhibit on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion In her apothecary market booth, Mary Fowler holds out a sample of frankincense, an aromatic resin, for Aurora Kronk (left) and Maryn Hurst to smell on Friday, Dec. 18 at the College Heights Baptist Church's Bethlehem Revisited exhibit. According to the New Testament, frankincense was brought as an offering to Jesus at his birth.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion In her apothecary market booth, Mary Fowler holds out a sample of frankincense, an aromatic resin, for Aurora Kronk (left) and Maryn Hurst to smell on Friday, Dec. 18 at the College Heights Baptist Church’s Bethlehem Revisited exhibit. According to the New Testament, frankincense was brought as an offering to Jesus at his birth.

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