A Livermore contractor has invested four years of his life into creating an elaborate, 35,000-square-foot live Nativity in downtown Livermore, and it's called "Living Bethlehem." Shows run every 30 minutes, and it features 115 actors, as well as dozens of live animals, including a camel.
Contractor Doug Fernandez was inspired by a similar live Nativity show they do in Santa Clara (now in it's 15th year at Santa Clara First Baptist Church), but his is even more elaborate, with Roman soldiers, and a period marketplace with "artisans." He used funds from his church, as well as donated materials, $50,000 in donations, and donated land for the show, all with a view toward "putting Christ back in Christmas."
"I am driven by one thing, to make a nonbeliever into a believer," Fernandez tells the Contra Costa Times. "This is the simplicity and true meaning of what Christmas is."
"Living Bethlehem" opens tomorrow, December 13, and runs from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday to Monday, through Christmas.
And if that weren't enough (because obviously Jesus is huge in Livermore), there's the 22nd annual drive-through Nativity at Livermore's at Trinity Church, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m.
There is also another, bigger live Nativity thing that's in its 20th year at Redwood City's Tapestry Church which runs December 21 to 23 and encompasses 40,000 square feet. It's called Bethlehem A.D. 2012.
Below, Fernandez shows off his model of Living Bethlehem and explains the spectacle.