Annual Live Nativity set in Bethlehem

The annual Live Nativity on the downtown Bethlehem Square will be held under the “Star” Sunday and Monday, Dec. 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. each night.

Bethlehem First United Methodist Church has coordinated the event since 1963 and has traditionally held two showings per night, but this year there will only be one showing, leaders state.

The church’s first Christmas Pageant was held in December 1963 through the idea of the Rev. Wayne Fears. The star above the town square predates the pageant. According to leaders, around 1951 Methodist minister L.G. Martin first conceived the idea of a large, lighted star in a public place at Christmas. 

He erected the star at the Methodist church and it was later moved to the town square, where it is easily visible from Highway 11.

Agape Ink Christmas dinner

Agape Ink, 669 Atlanta Hwy. SE, Winder, will hold its annual Christmas dinner and presents with Santa for families in need at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. 

Families can sign up for the dinner by texting Agape owner Shane Whelchel at 470-422-9608 and listing the ages and gender of their children so organizers can get appropriate gifts. 

The elderly are also invited. 

"We are grateful for our community and just want to share," Whelchel said. "It's been growing every year and we are hoping to keep it growing to the point that no mouth goes unfed and no child in our community doesn't get to have that huge smile opening a gift at Christmas."

Winder Healthcare Christmas store accepting donations

Winder Healthcare and Rehabilitation, 263 East May St., is now accepting donations for its annual Christmas Store.

Ideal donations for the event mainly include children's toys, according to leaders. However, the store will also accept men's and women’s clothes, slippers, cologne/perfume, body wash, hats, pajamas and jewelry.

The store will be accepting donations until the morning of Dec. 20.

Call 770-867-2108 and ask for Caige in Activities for more information.

The business is also offering people the opportunity to "adopt" or give a resident a Christmas gift. Those interested can contact the business and obtain information on a residence. They are asked to submit gifts by Monday, Dec. 23.

Local blood drives coming up

The following American Red Cross blood drives are coming up in Barrow County:

•1-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the Perry Rainey Center, 16 College St., Auburn.

•1-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, at the Winder Public Library, 189 Bellview St.

•noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at Winder First United Methodist Church, 280 North Broad St.

To donate blood, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients, leaders state.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Bring One for the Chipper event set

Keep Barrow Beautiful will host a "Bring One for the Chipper" event Saturday, Jan. 4.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Barrow County Leisure Services Complex, 80 Lee St., Winder, between fields 8-11. 

People are encouraged to bring their Christmas trees to be recycled. AKA Tree Care is sponsoring the event.

For more information, contact Danielle Austin at or 770-307-3005.


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