Asbury sees huge turnout for second Experience Christmas event

Published 1:30 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

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NORTH SHELBY – A multi-faceted Christmas event at Asbury United Methodist Church drew more than 1,000 people to the church’s campus on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 3.

For the second year in a row, Asbury held its Experience Christmas event, an outdoor event featuring faith-based displays and other components related to the holiday season, including Santa Claus.

“The whole idea was just to combine all of the joy that is synonymous with, and that people love about, Christmas into one event,” Asbury Communications Director Amy Gonzalez said. “Of course, we want to share the news that Jesus is born and that’s the real meaning of Christmas, but we also acknowledge that Santa and cookies and milk are also an important part of this holiday, so we brought everything together in this one event.”

On one side of the campus, Santa and Mrs. Claus were stationed under a tent, ready to greet families, take pictures with them and invite them to enjoy cookies and milk.

Children could visit an ornament-making station to create their own ornaments to take home.

On the other side of the campus, visitors could hear a recounting of the Christmas story and then walk along a replica of a street in Bethlehem, complete with booths on each side that were designed to show how the town would have looked in Jesus’s time.

The booths of leather tanners, woodworkers, oil lantern burners, pottery makers and more led to a live nativity, where visitors could pet the animals, including goats, sheep, and a camel.

The event also featured local food trucks Southern Coffee and Waffles, Uncle G’s Pizza and Taqueria La Chilanguita, along with carolers singing Christmas carols throughout the evening.

Gonzalez said attendance seemed to be higher this year, perhaps due in part to favorable weather.

“Our church members and volunteers really had a lot of fun doing this,” Gonzalez added. “It’s just such a wonderful way for us to get families together and allow them to focus on each other and just be in the moment at Christmas, doing the things they love to do.”

For information about other Christmas events coming up at Asbury United Methodist Church, visit