Larry the donkey was a little stubborn.
But an organizer of “Road to Bethlehem” hopes he’ll make a return visit to the live Nativity.
This weekend, Calvary Baptist Church in Fremont will host the interactive Nativity from 7-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Admission is free and the public is invited to the event at the church at 904 N. Bell St. The Rev. Philip Schmidt, pastor, in charge of the event.
Since most of the event takes place outdoors, guests are encouraged to wear warm clothes.
Attendees will come to the church parking lot, where they’ll be greeted by a shepherd who will take groups of about 10 people on a 15-minute guided tour.
Guests will get to gather around a fire with shepherds as they talk about seeing an angel.
Attendees will go back in the Bible story a bit to see Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. They’ll head to another section to talk to Wise Men on their way to see a new king.
Visitors then will come to Bethlehem and talk to a cranky innkeeper and see a village display with Mary and Joseph in a stable.
The guests then will come into the church for a surprise ending.
“We’ll see what Christmas is all about,” said Judi Schmidt, an event organizer. “They (guests) will be able to experience it in a new way.”
Inside the church, visitors will receive a free gift, a Gospel tract and be treated to cookies and coffee or hot chocolate.
The continuous, guided tours take place every 15 to 20 minutes until 9 each night.
Approximately 25 volunteers help with the live Nativity.
And last year, a miniature donkey named, Larry, made an appearance.
Schmidt’s teenage daughter, Charity — who was dressed in a shepherd’s costume — wanted to lead Larry around.
“He was stubborn and would not move,” Schmidt said, laughing a little. “So he kind of stood in one place and let people walk past him.”
Charity loves horses and donkeys and her mom said they hope Larry will visit again.
Schmidt also hopes area residents will attend.
“I have a desire that people would know the same peace that I’ve experienced and knowing that peace comes from knowing the Prince of Peace (Jesus),” Schmidt said. “I would like to share the good news with everybody, because there’s a lot anger and hurt out there in this world. There isn’t peace on earth right now. True peace is only going to come when people realize who that baby in the manager really is.”