Holy Walk is a Bremen tradition

BREMEN — While live nativity scenes are quite common, the annual Holy Walk offers a unique dramatized vision of the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year’s 30th anniversary Holy Walk will be Dec. 3-4 on the farm of Jim and Loretta Huff, where it has taken place all but the first year.
“We always look forward to it,” Loretta Huff said of the event, which is free to the public. “It’s kind of our mission project and we just want to share our property. We don’t take the credit for it because many people from many different churches are involved.”
Holy Walk visitors begin their journey at Bremen High School. There they are treated to live music before boarding shuttle buses to the Huff farm. The school will open at 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4., and buses leave every 15 minutes.
The production, which takes several days to set up, begins as soon as visitors set foot on the bus, as trained guides take them back to Biblical times. When passengers unload, another guide takes them through a large interactive village scene.
“There’s a lot of tents set up with produce, sandal-making, wheat cakes, weaving and all kinds of things,” Huff said. “We like for the people to participate.”
The hour-long walk gives visitors a look at Mary’s and Joseph’s trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They see an angel speak to the shepherds, run into rough Roman soldiers, visit the Bethlehem Inn — where like Mary, they are told there is no room, and witness the stable where baby Jesus lay.
“It can be very meaningful for people, but it’s also a lot of fun,” Huff said.
Visitors are asked to dress with the elements in mind.
“They have to remember they’re walking on farmland, and it also gets pretty chilly,” Huff said.
The Holy Walk couldn’t happen without its many guides, actors, builders and helpers of all kinds.
“We have about 250 people in costume plus another 50 more at the high school,” Huff said. “It takes an awful lot of people, and they are very dedicated. A lot of them have done it all these years. It is a Christmas tradition for a lot of families.”
For more information on the Holy Walk, call Bremen United Methodist Church at 574-546-2667 or e-mail office@bumchurch.org.