HIGH SPRINGS – Christmas is all hustle and bustle. There’s shopping and rushing around and all sorts of responsibilities.

Fellowship Church in High Springs just wants everyone to slow down and “celebrate Jesus.”

On Dec. 10 and 11, they are holding “One Story LIVE From Bethlehem.” This free event is an interactive telling of the story of Jesus’ birth, held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. both nights.

Windy Bridges, ministry assistant, said Fellowship Church began hosting the event in 1988. For over 20 years, they shared the story of Christmas with the community.

The church took two years off from the event to focus on what it wanted to share the most, Bridges said. She said they decided to put the focus on Jesus.

“Our goal is to give the community a gift,” she said. “We want to remind people that Christmas is simple: Christmas celebrates Jesus.”

Last year, the church’s Christmas Eve service featured three dramatizations of Christmas scenes. Bridges said this was only a preview of this weekend’s event.

“This event is an interesting, dramatic take,” she said. “People will go, ‘Oh, wow.’”

She explains that visitors will enter the city gates and be greeted by city elders, who will tell them about Bethlehem and set the stage for the event. Then, they will visit a marketplace with vendors who will answer questions about their wares and lifestyle.

People will be able to interact with live animals, seeing and touching them like they could in the real town. Eventually, they will make their way to an outdoor theater where they will watch the dramatization.

The original script was written by two church members, Matt and Suzie Walters. It is performed by churchgoers ranging in age from younger than one-year old to 75-years old. Bridges said it is truly a church-run event.

“Everything is funded through the giving of church members,” she said. “There are over 100 volunteers involved.”

Planning has gone on for a year. The volunteers started working on the set in spring and started rehearsing in summer. Bridges said this is because Fellowship Church is committed to being authentic and producing a quality show.

“We don’t want people to be presented the story, but we want them to have an emotional experience,” she said.

The church expects 1,000 to 2,000 people each night, with visitors in the past traveling from other states to see the show. While people will be admitted throughout the three hours the event is open each night, Bridges advised that guests arrive early because there is limited space.

She said the turnout is always high because Fellowship strives to create a meaningful experience. Her favorite part is seeing the children’s reactions.

“It’s always really meaningful to see children visit this re-creation and magically end up feeling like they’re transported back 2,000 years,” she said. “It’s an experience.”