The Bethlehem Experience
See It with Your Own Eyes December 14-17
The Ashland Beacon
Have you ever wondered what it was like in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born? There weren’t any photographers, or video to capture the birth…just a chorus of angels, some shepherds and the animals in a smelly barn were there to witness this wonderful event. From December 14-17, you can experience what that night in Bethlehem may have been like at the Blackhorse Farm.
Farm owner Jessica Adkins transforms their 6,000 square foot, heated indoor arena into the bustling city of Bethlehem for three magical nights. Adkins says, “Around 2008-2009, I attended a live Nativity scene at Burnaugh Baptist Church with my then boyfriend (now husband), Chris. I was very impressed. I knew then, even before having a farm, that I wanted to do something like a Nativity, but more about how an ordinary day turned into the most extraordinary day the world had ever known.”
This is exactly what you will find at the Bethlehem Experience beginning with registering with the Roman soldiers. Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because there was a decree that everyone had to be taxed. You must first pay a “tax” of three cans of food per person to enter the event. All the food donated will go to area food banks. This year it will be donated to the House of Grace Food Pantry.
After paying your tax, you will be on a guided tour through a busy marketplace. It was just an ordinary day to these people …. they had no idea what was about to happen. You can interact with villagers, learn from the village tradesmen, and sample foods they may have eaten during Biblical times. The children will love the animals in the village. There are sheep, camels, donkeys, horses and many more. Be sure to keep your eyes open, and you may even see the Wise Men seeking the birth of the promised Messiah. The experience ends just outside the arena with a beautiful live nativity. There are free refreshments and snacks throughout the tour and a free group photo for all who attend.
“We have about 150 volunteers that help make all this possible,” stated Adkins. As you can imagine, it is a huge undertaking and requires a lot of planning. Adkins continues, “I started working on this year’s event in March, but the physical work has to be planned around weddings and other events scheduled at the Blackhorse farm and only begins a few weeks before opening evening.” There is still room for additional volunteers if this is something you would enjoy. You can text Jessica at 606.922.4853 to volunteer.
Everyone must have a reservation to attend. This allows the organizers to plan for enough parking and a pleasant experience for all those attending. Reservations are free, but you must pay the “tax” of three cans of food when presenting your ticket. The average time spent at the Bethlehem Experience is one hour. Visit blackhorsebethlehem.com to reserve your spot. Be sure to visit the Q&A section where questions about parking, what to wear, what to expect and ticket information can be found.
This is truly a one of kind experience. The Adkins family hopes that it will become a part of your family’s Christmas traditions and will remind everyone about the true meaning of Christmas. The Blackhorse Farm is location at 18517 St Rt 854 Rush, KY.