Weatherford Democrat

December 12, 2013

Step into Bethlehem

Capernaum Village again hosts ‘Star of Bethlehem Experience’ on local film set using North Texas actors


Weatherford Democrat

— WEATHERFORD – Tammy Lane Productions, creators of “Mission Reality” and other Christian-based productions, is once again bringing the spirit of the first Christmas to its one-of-a-kind first century village called Capernaum, located north of Weatherford.

This year’s annual “Star of Bethlehem Experience” is taking place Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22.

“Every year, friends and family across the world reflect on the history and origins of the Christmas season,” said Tammy Lane, creator of Capernaum Village and the production’s director. “We created the ‘Star of Bethlehem Experience’ as an authentic way of bringing that story to life.”

The Capernaum property contains both Capernaum Village and the Majestic Statue Garden. Final touches on the village were completed in recent years, and to accommodate a larger crowd and a more complex event, the area underwent more than $2 million worth of general construction. The village itself contains a number of single and multilevel stone structures designed and positioned much like they would have been in the first century.

As visitors witness the event, they will see that authenticity goes far beyond the village itself. Enlisting the help of local acting coach Twila Barnett, Lane’s team has hired more than 50 authentic-looking actors from the North Texas area to play the roles of each and every person in the village.

“In order to build off of the authenticity and beauty of the village, it was important for us to have trained actors to make the experience truly genuine,” said Barnett, owner of the Weatherford Acting, Film & Stunt Academy. “Having actors who convey the message of authenticity through their looks and their performance adds an element to the event that people really aren’t expecting to see.”

As guests enter the living town of Bethlehem, they’ll experience everything as it would have been the night Jesus was born. Walking through the town, they’ll witness scenes that were common in the time period – Roman soldiers, villagers, potters, rabbis – before coming upon and observing the crowded inn that turned away Joseph and Mary.

Guests end their journey at the Nativity scene with Joseph, Mary and newborn Jesus together in the stable. Outside of the village and path, guests will also have the opportunity to experience a few of the other newly constructed areas. Up the hill from the village sits a beautiful Biblical statue garden with more than 14 life-sized statues designed by the famous Korean sculptor Yon Sim Pak. In addition to Pak’s statues, the garden also contains a replica tomb as visitors walk through scenes depicting key aspects of the Old and New Testaments.

Next to the village sits the marketplace, which is located at the entrance to the property, and will contain a number of local vendors who will be serving up food and refreshments each night.

The ‘Star of Bethlehem Experience’ at Capernaum First Century Village is located at 10700 FM Road 920, north of Weatherford and out two miles north of Peaster.

Operating times on Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22 are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $16 for adults; $12 for seniors; $10 for children ages 3-12; with children under 3 free.

For more information on group discounts or to purchase tickets by phone call (800) 489-1950 or email capernaum@tammylaneproductions.com.