BETHLEHEM — The word Bethlehem means "house of bread."
In a gesture befitting an image of sustenance, the people of this Henry County community believe in bringing a message of hope through a living Nativity scene.
They've been doing it since 1959. The same donkey has been used for many years; some of the original wood from that first year is used to create the stable today.
The four-day event runs through Christmas Day, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Three Henry County churches — Bethlehem Baptist, Bethlehem Methodist and Point Pleasant Christian — sponsor the event on Ky. 22, across the street from the Bethlehem Post Office.
Church members and other groups, including entire families, take turns portraying a dozen characters. Each group of 12 stands in 50-minute shifts, then a new cast, already in costume, moves into position.
Some families will take an entire shift, then pose for a family photo to send as Christmas cards, said Keith Croxton, the Nativity coordinator.