Littlest Angel Librada Delgado, 2, and official Angel Dog Daisy won the hearts of the crowd as well as the judges as part of the Angel Flock in the Bethlehem A.D. entry.
“We definitely had the cute brigade,” said Ruth Brown who led the flock of 15 angels.
Daisy, a Maltese, has been a fan favorite since her owner Minette Siegel started putting wings on the parade pooch in 2009 and let her trot joyfully down the street as part of the Bethlehem A.D. cast. “There were children who called us over because they remember Daisy from previous years,” said Siegel.
Librada has been joining her mother Isa Butler at Roof Angel at the twice weekly Roof Angel practice. Obviously too young to dance on the roof --- she will have to wait another 12 years --- walking in the parade was no problem and once she got over her toddler shyness, she happily waved and posed for photos with her new friend Daisy.
The Redwood City Hometown Parade has become a prelude for Bethlehem A.D., held 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., December 21, December 22 and December 23. The largest living nativity is presented free by Tapestry Church at 1305 Middlefield Road in Redwood City.
During the parade a pregnant mother portrays Mary on her way to Bethlehem with Joseph. Riding in a cart, she is surrounded by shepherds and villagers cheering her on. The angels are there to protect the Holy Family from the menacing Centurions. A whining King Herod insisting that he is the only king brings up the rear.
During Bethlehem A.D., Mary and Joseph huddle in the stable with the newborn Messiah in a manger.
The angels celebrate the birth of the new King while shepherds and Wise Men alike come to see Him in the little town of Bethlehem.
The public can walk through the village, interacting with the colorfully-costumed towns people who are cooking over fires, creating pottery, buying and selling items in the market place, and giving account of themselves to the census taker. Visitors can observe and mingle with Roman centurions on horseback while sages and scholars discussing scripture at the synagogue, wonder about the news that the Messiah has been born.
There are over 85 animals including camels, horses, llamas, Brahma bulls and a host of chickens and ducks.
The mood outside Bethlehem A.D. is as lively as within the village walls. Roman centurions mingle with Redwood City police to help direct traffic as Bethlehem villagers mingle with modern-day sojourners standing in line. Searchlights crisscross the night sky, pointing the way to the manger. Music fills the air and a sense of joy and anticipation permeates the entire city block, as well as a deep sense of community uniting people of diverse cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds.
After leaving Bethlehem, visitors receive a Certificate of Pilgrimage and can choose to cross the street to Tapestry Church where free hot coffee, cider, and homemade doughnuts are served on the festively lit patio. The church sanctuary is warm and inviting, allowing for personal reflection about the experience, with a live video feed of the manger and village. Traditional Christmas carols are sung between times of prayer and reflection. The community room is alive with children and families enjoying refreshments and fellowship.
All the Bethlehem A.D. cast and crew are volunteers from different faiths, civic groups. There are some volunteers who have no faith affiliation.
There is still time to register as a participant. Adults are needed as greeters, farewellers, inn keepers, cooks, folk dancers and Centurions.
Youth Actors can sign up to be folk dancers, King’s attendants and in the chain gang.
For more information about Bethlehem A.D. or volunteering as cast and crew, call 650. 386.3821 extension 1302 or visit www.bethlehemad.com.