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Bethel Celebrates 56th Festival of Christmas

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More than 6,000 guests enjoyed Bethel's 56th Festival of Christmas, themed “Oh How Joyfully! An International Festival.” More than 300 student musicians participated in this annual celebration of Christ’s birth, and many guests also enjoyed authentic Scandinavian food at the smörgåsbord served before and after several of the productions.

Meredith ’82 and Reuben Dahlquist ’80, of Brooklyn Park, Minn., attended the concert to hear their son Jeff Dahlquist ’13, sing in the Bethel Choir. Meredith said she was reminded of when she met Reuben 34 years earlier while standing in line for a dress rehearsal for Festival of Christmas in 1978. “He was holding a badminton birdie instead of a candle, to be funny,” she explained. Later that evening, Reuben asked Meredith out on a date and since then, she added, they have attended many Festivals of Christmas. Her favorite part is the processional with the candles and surround-sound of the music. “I remember being overwhelmed my first time as a singer – it was all so beautiful,” she said. “The musical excellence is amazing – the best way to start the season.”