Bala’s Trek to Bethlehem has been cancelled for the second year in a row because of COVID-19.

The annual event started in 1993 to honour Bala’s 125th anniversary. 

“A family-friendly event, Bala’s Trek To Bethlehem takes you on a journey such as Mary and Joseph might have taken,” a write-up on the event’s Facebook page explains. “Meet up with other characters along the way and arrive in Bethlehem to pay your taxes and be counted. The gruff Roman soldiers remind you of the occupation which made life difficult back then. Along the way, you also hear of a Saviour who has been born. There is hope.”

The walk is usually scheduled during the first week of December.

Event organizations say the half-hour walk presents too many health challenges, along with “physical and logistical” obstacles. 

“We acknowledge that protecting the health of our patrons and our volunteers is our number one priority during this ongoing COVID-19 health crisis,” organizers write. 

The plan is for the event to return ahead of Christmas in 2022.