One of the area's most popular Christmas events will start your Advent reflecting on the reason for the season.

The Crossing Church is setting the stage for its annual Journey to Bethlehem in Hannibal. It's an incredible, live, interactive outdoor walking tour that recreates the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.

This is a major production. It takes 500 church volunteers to put on this event for thousands of visitors to Hannibal. The trip starts at the church on Broadway and winds through a path in the floodplains of south Hannibal. You'll see Roman soldiers, shepherds, three Kings, livestock--all of the traditional elements of the humble beginnings of Christ's life.

The Journey to Bethlehem has only been around a few years, but The Crossing knew it hit on something big the first time they offered this free event. The crowds were huge that first year and they've grown exponentially since then.

The first presentation of the season is Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1. It will run again the following weekend, December 7-8. Doors open at 4 p.m. at The Crossing's Hannibal location at 425 Broadway. The first tour goes out at 5 p.m. Tours leave every 10 minutes. While you wait, you will be entertained by an indoor production, and then you'll be transported to the Journey.

Dress warmly. There will be fires to warm you at most stations along the path but it can be rather raw outside this time of year. It's part of the charm and another dose of reality in this Journey to Christmas day.

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