3,700 Come to annual Bremen Holy Walk

Mike Siroky
Mike Siroky

After every Holy Walk, more history accumulates.
This year, 2,000 came on Saturday and 1,700 on Sunday.
Some may not realize how many costumes there are to make, store and upkeep. There are 300 people in costume and even more not in costume behind the scenes of the event. Jeff Welborn, president of the Holy Walk, notes a local business, TJ Snuggles donated fabric to make costumes and that a family in Mentone also took fabric to make some as did some local women who volunteered their time and help.
"We buy hundreds of dozens of cookies," Welborn said. That has also changed from the originating years, when most were home-baked.
So Welborn knows Holy Walk well. In fact, he has been a part of it for the past 34 years. Welborn now has been serving as the chairman of the annual event for a decade.
In the future, his group will recruit more volunteers, especially guides, so everyone can get more breaks.
“We need about 40 guides (people) to do it right. It makes it much nicer," he said.
Some of the current guides, who lead groups through the experience, have been there when the  Walk first started with a Sunday School class idea.
The location, which for many years was held at private property owned by the Huff family, may have been a detraction for volunteers as that property was much more hilly.
The current, third, site is adjacent to the Pines/ Shumaker Park/West Side Park. It is mostly flat, though there is a slight rise on the final segment. It is still basically park land.
Years ago, the equipment was stored at two churches. Weaver Equipment donated the trailer in which most equipment is stored.
Another change was to use electric light strings to light the pathways.
This year's early December timeline was to accommodate the availability of the staging area at the high school. With that in mind, next year's dates are already set: Dec. 18 and 19.
“We’ve already locked in for 2015," wleborn said. "Sometimes we have to keep asking them (about dates) as people want to know so they can plan ahead.”
In earlier years, it may have been easier for visitors to find a day to come to the walk as it was a three-day, all weekend, event.
Lately, Sundays have been reserved for site cleanup following Sunday morning services.
“It is something everyone should experience," said Wellborn.
"It takes about an hour to walk. It’s bigger and better than what you might think.”