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Planning for annual Holy Walk underway

July 20, 2013

For more information, email BremenHolyWalk@gmail.com, visit the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/BremenHolyWalk or call 574-209-1445. Photo by Shawn McGrath

BREMEN — While summer is definitely here, planning has been underway for Bremen’s 33rd annual Holy Walk.
Organizers announced recently that this year’s event will be 5-9 p.m. Dec. 20 and 4:30-9 p.m. Dec. 21.
The actual times may be subject to change, but organizers- will know for sure by this fall.
“Other than the fact that it is a 30-plus-year-old tradition in our little town, the Holy Walk is important because it gives us a real life view of the night Jesus was born,” said Danica Clark, a member of the volunteer board that organizes the event. “We witness the angels proclaiming His birth, experience a small amount of terror as the Romans boss us around and threaten to beat our family members, and I believe that every time we quietly gather at the manger scene gazing upon Mary and Joseph holding their new baby Jesus, we are caught up in a holy and serene moment.
“It’s truly beautiful every time.”
And this year’s event is definitely on the minds of Clark and Chairman Jeff Welborn. They both said volunteers are needed for this year’s event.
“The more the merrier,” Welborn said. “Especially when it comes to getting more people to be guides.
“We need new people to take the position of a lot of our guides who are older and can’t make four to five trips a night, which sometimes ends at 1:30 a.m. The more guides we have, the less amount of trips they need to make with groups going through the walk.
Welborn said there were nearly 70 busloads of people who attended last year.
Those interested in being a guide should come to meetings held in advance of the Holy Walk. The meeting dates haven’t been set, but organizers are looking for guides and those over 18 interested in working behind the scenes or portraying villagers or Roman soldiers.
For more information, email BremenHolyWalk@gmail.com, visit the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/BremenHolyWalk or call 574-209-1445.
For the second year, the Holy Walk will be held near the Pines Senior Center on Plymouth Street at Shumaker Park. The new location for the event should offer visitors an easier walk and less traveling by bus.
“Shumaker Park is our new location that we plan on using indefinitely,” Clark said. “It almost seems as if it were made for use of the Holy Walk on those grounds.”
Previous walks were held just east of town on property owned by the Huff family. Welborn said the Shumaker Park location helped for those who might not be able to walk at the previous location.
For those who wonder why the Holy Walk is not held on a particular weekend each year, Welborn said event dates depend on the Bremen High School basketball schedule. Holy Walk organizers use the school’s gym as a departure spot for visitors boarding busses to attend the event.
Welborn thanked everyone who donated funds for the Holy Walk Tree Project. About $2,600 was given to buy more than 80 trees, 75 of which are from 4-to-6-feet tall for the area where the Holy Walk is held.
Clark praised and thanked the volunteers who make the Holy Walk happen every year.
“My personal hope for the Holy Walk is to see it grow even larger,” she said. “Currently we see around 4,500 people come through every year.
“The Holy Walk has become such a tradition for us Bremenites. It’s truly a unique experience. I mean, honestly, where else can you see a live reenactment of Bethlehem? It’s a living history, where you can interact with the costumed characters, you get to partake in the banter of buying and selling goods, and you almost feel as if you have been taken back in time to another era.”

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