(Left to right) Susan Brown, Pastor Paul Johnson, Pastor Jeff Voth, Pastor Lori Voth, Pastor Tonia Bartlett, Pastor Henry Bartlett.
November 2020: Most of us would agree that the year 2020 has been incredibly difficult. With the winter holidays fast approaching, you can’t help but wonder how the current health crisis will affect our beloved Christmas season. While this is a time for families to spend time together, many people are questioning whether they can enjoy the festivities without putting themselves at risk for infection.
This is where Church 3434 comes in. For six years now, they have organized a multicultural indoor festival for the community, “A Miracle on 34th”, celebrating Christmas traditions from all over the world. This year is no different: Local families can look forward to visiting an international Christmas marketplace, complete with booths from over 14 countries filled with artifacts, live nativity, cultural dancing, music and so much more. The big difference this year is that the event will be outdoors and drive-thru, church volunteers directing the traffic will be wearing masks and following all COVID-19 guidelines to create a safe environment for everybody involved.
When guests arrive at the market, they will pass through an entrance symbolic of the beginning of their journey. However, before they can visit their first country, they will need a passport, of course! At check-in, they can choose either a traditional paper or a digital one. The electronic check-in will be possible through text messaging. Then it’s official: You are on your way to your first destination and your passport gets its first stamp. For paper passports, this will be a sticker stamp which will be handed to you on a tray for this process to be as contactless as possible. If you prefer a digital stamp, then you will receive a text message as a stamp for your electronic passport.
“As you travel from booth to booth, be prepared to learn lots of interesting facts about countries you visit, experience national costumes, hear about holiday traditions and maybe even discover a new Christmas tradition for your own family!” says Tonia Bartlett, Event Coordinator. Representing countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Central African Republic, and Brazil from several continents, this festival offers a way to get immersed into different cultures without the hefty price tag of a plane ticket.
A great thing about the drive-thru event, maybe even the best, as some might say, is that you never have to get out of the car. Wear your PJs, get comfy and be ready for an experience for all senses with festive decorations, traditional Christmas market wooden booths, beautiful lights everywhere you look, music from all over the world, dancing performances and many more wonderful surprises that are sure to make all ages happy!
“We did not want to cancel, but instead, in these times of racial and political tensions, stress and depression, gather people together and bring them joy,” says Bartlett.
So save the date for the “Miracle on 34th”: December 5, 4 p.m. to
7 p.m. at Church 3434, 3434 South Garnett Road, Tulsa OK 74146.
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