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Journey to Bethlehem recruits for cast of Christmas '11 production
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Christmas may seem like a while off but Grace Community Christian Church is preparing this month for its 15th annual production of Journey to Bethlehem.

Journey to Bethlehem welcomes individuals from the community to participate in the production, both as crew and cast members. New to the church website this year is a list of the open cast and crew positions, as well as an electronic online application form. Individuals wishing to be a part of Journey may go to and complete the online application and submit it electronically. Applicants will be contacted within 10 days by Casting Director, Mickie Schaffner, or Production Director, Bob Blackburn.

Training and costume fittings begin in October so individuals interesting in participating need to visit the website and apply as soon as possible. Onsite child care, as well as a food tent which caters meals, is available for the cast and crew each evening of production.

The Journey event has consistently drawn large crowds as people come to Ceres to take a one-mile pilgrimage from the town of "Nazareth" to the town of "Bethlehem" recreating the events on the night of the birth of Christ. Record crowds of over 8,000 people visited Grace Community Christian church's recreation of the Christmas story over six nights in December of 2010.

Grace Community continues to offer the event as a free gift to the community. It is not unusual for the parking lot to have tour buses filled with visitors from cities in the bay area, Reno and Fresno.

Journey to Bethlehem 2011 will be held the evenings of Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10. Gates open at 5 p.m. each evening. On Thursday and Friday nights (Dec., 1, 2 and 8, 9) the event begins at 7 p.m. On Saturday nights (Dec. 3 and 10) the production begins at 6 p.m.

Additional information can be found on the website or by calling the church at 531-0912.