The Christmas story will come to life at the NorthWood Christmas Festival Dec. 13-16 at NorthWood Church in Keller.
For the second year in a row, the centerpiece of the event will be the Story of Christ Hayride, live portrayals of 13 scenes from the Nativity to the resurrection.
“It’s the story of Jesus’ life told there in living color right before you,” said Paul Schneider, communications pastor.
The festival also will include one of the area’s largest petting zoos, bounce houses, food trucks, live music and free hot chocolate.
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A 20-minute hayride with audio narration travels through the scenes set up in a field west of the church.
Last year, more than 7,000 people attended.
The hayride and festival were a way to allow more people to experience the event, Schneider said. NorthWood had hosted a Life of Christ Drive Thru in the early 2000s but had maxed out the number of cars that could drive through the scenes in the parking lot northeast of the church.
“The most we could have was 1,000 cars,” Schneider said. “There were a lot of traffic headaches, and it took a long time to get through.”
With the hayride, each load can carry 30 to 40 people. Nine trailers can operate at a time. This year, people can wait inside the church until they board the hayride. The church will provide entertainment and free hot chocolate during the wait.
The festival, now one of the largest in the area, is a big undertaking for the church. Organizer Craig Poslick said that intensive planning began in the spring. More than 300 church members take part in the cast and another 100 help with parking, bounce houses and hot chocolate.
The festival will be from 6:30 to 9:30 each night at the church, located on Rufe Snow at North Tarrant Pkwy. While admission is free, parking costs $15 at the gate. Parking passes for $10 plus $1.24 processing are available through the church website: northwoodchurch.org. Click on the calendar link for the NorthWood Christmas Festival, then the link to register.
For more information, call the church at 817-656-8150.