Christmas story returns with Night of Miracles nativity village

After attracting more than 5,000 visitors last year to its site, the seventh annual Night of Miracles… A Journey to Bethlehem will run on the weekends of Dec.6-8 and 13-15 in Buena Vista. The interactive, walk-through, live nativity village is set on the hill behind Buena Vista Food Lion at Highway 60 East & Highway 608 South.  Hours of operation are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night.  Admission is free and groups are welcome

Calendar 2013Guided by a musical track, the story of Jesus’ birth cycles every 16-18 minutes during which a number of things happen as visitors join Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem:  they see three kings afar off on the hillside, witness the angels’ appearance to the shepherds watching over their sheep, visit the grain wheel and goat farmer, experience village vendors selling their wares, mingle with townspeople shopping in the marketplace, chat with the carpenter busy at his trade, salute the Roman soldiers riding in a chariot and on horseback, and render taxes to the tax collector.  The pageantry culminates as visitors follow the procession of the Magi entourage to the manger where they present their gifts to the Christ child.  Making it even more life-like are numerous animals, including a donkey, a mule, a cow, camels, llamas, horses, goats and a flock of sheep grazing on the hillside.  As visitors exit the village, they are greeted by a hospitality team who offer complimentary hot chocolate.

Tim Morrison, producer and director, explains “It is exciting to see this event grow.  Over the past six years, we’ve seen well over 10,000 people journey through the village.  It has brought visitors from all around the region and state and as far away as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and the Carolinas to Rockbridge County.  Secondly, it is an event that fully demonstrates the spirit of the season by bringing the community together through the support of donated manpower, funds, supplies, materials, equipment, and much more from businesses, individuals, schools, churches, community groups, and organizations.  I also love that it is something special families can enjoy together, especially in today’s economy.  Many have made Night of Miracles part of their family’s Christmas tradition.”

Over 100 volunteers, from cast members to parking attendants to hospitality hosts & hostesses and more, are needed each night to staff the event.  It is designed so that volunteers can participate as their schedule permits, whether it is for just one night or all six.  Interested parties may go to sign up, after which they are assigned a position or part.  Since there is no rehearsal required, cast members receive information and suggestions for character development and ad-lib dialog.  Costumes are provided. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

For the third year, Catalyst:  People Changing Horses, Horses Changing People, the rescue non-profit headed by Debbie Sensabaugh, will join the cast with their team and horses.

More details, including the history, pictures, dates, time, and contact information can be found by logging on to the website at  The website also provides scheduling updates in the event of inclement weather.  Night of Miracles is also found on Facebook (Night of Miracles) and Twitter (@NOMBethlehem).

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