Holy Walk bringing 32 years of Bethlehem to Bremen

BREMEN — The Holy Walk is an annual Bremen tradition and has been going on for 32 years. Every year before Christmas, more three hundred people dress up like Roman soldiers, wise men and shepherds. Hundreds of people are bussed out to The Pines Senior Citizen Center (right next to the Yellow River on S.R. 106) to see the story in action.
Aaron Jones has been going to the Holy Walk for 30 years, participating in them for 20. He’s done everything from being a villager to a Roman soldier.
“I like to sneak through the groups to startle them,” he said. At the end of the walk, there is a wooden cross for people to go to. “It’s my favorite part,” Jones said. “I hope this walk helps people realize that it really happened. It’s not just a story.”
Bob Yoder, who played a guide this year, also said his favorite part was the cross.
“It gives us an opportunity to share,” he said. Yoder has been helping in the Holy Walk for 10 years, having been a spectator before that. He has about a five-minute break in-between each group, then he leads them through the maze where people see shepherds, weavers and other common occupations selling off the side of the road. The point is to recreate what a day of life was like during Biblical times. A first-time spectator came all the way from Columbia City, Ind. – approximately an hour-and-forty-minute drive. Amy Bantrager and her friend, Katie, came all this way to see what their friends back home had been raving about. “It was really cool,” Bantrager said. “Everything was very realistic, especially the soldiers. They were definitely my favorite part.”
For Katie, her favorite part was the angels. “We don’t have anything like that from our church,” she explained. “It was a little different from what I’ve learned, but it was cool to see how people are willing to come and do this when it’s cold. To put on a show so other people experience it.” Both girls attend Abundant Life, where they have something similar to the Holy Walk. “I think I’m going to try to bring the Youth Group next year,” Bantrager said. “This was just too neat to pass up. They’ll all love it, too.”