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Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas lineup includes a ‘Miracle in Bethlehem, Pa.’

The Christmas City tree lighting at Payrow Plaza
Stephanie Sigafoos
The Christmas Tree at Bethlehem's Payrow Plaza.

  • The Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas TV movie lineup has been announced
  • It includes a movie called "Miracle in Bethlehem, Pa"
  • The film will air Dec. 21 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TV

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Hallmark Channel once again is putting a big spotlight on the Lehigh Valley's Little Town of Bethlehem.

A movie called “Miracle in Bethlehem, Pa” will air this coming holiday season, it was announced Tuesday, even though production is taking place in Canada.

The flick is among 42 premiering across Hallmark’s two networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now, also will have special holiday offerings.

According to a release, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TV will premiere “Miracle in Bethlehem, Pa” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21.

Actors Laura Vandervoort and Benjamin Ayres will star, with Vandervoort playing Mary Ann Brubeck, a woman who adopts a daughter right before Christmas.

But when bad weather leaves her and the baby stranded in Bethlehem, their only option is to stay with the innkeeper’s brother Joe, a quintessential bachelor.

What else do we know about the movie?

According to an extended synopsis, “As Mary Ann learns the value of community by spending time with Joe’s family and participating in the local church’s Christmas events, Joe starts getting his act together with new motivation...and the two begin to see each other in a new light.”

Based on the website Casting Workbook, the movie will begin shooting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on Sept. 26.

That means we’re unlikely to spot Christkindlmarkt, the Christmas Huts on Main or Hotel Bethlehem as backdrops during the film.

"Either way, we’re thrilled to have been inspiration and can’t wait to watch," said Angela Stein, Director of Mayor's Initiatives for the City of Bethlehem.

The one thing we're sure of is that producers probably didn't consider the Lehigh Valley's winter weather over the past few years.

The area saw just 5.1 inches of snow last winter. It measured 20.1 inches below average and was the fourth least-snowiest winter on record.

Still a Hallmark Holiday town

Bethlehem was among five communities featured as part of the Hallmark Channel Christmas Cam during the 2022 holiday season.

The camera was affixed to a tall yellow pole near Main and Walnut streets and captured images livestreamed to the Hallmark Channel website.

In celebration of that partnership, Santa stopped by the Historic Bethlehem Visitors Center on Sept. 13 to drop off special gifts to Mayor J. William Reynolds.

Among the gifts was a mahogany engraved plaque that reads: Hallmark Channel Holiday Hometown — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“I’m so honored to receive this plaque on behalf of the City of Bethlehem,” Reynolds said. “With that live stream, the country and the world was able to see Bethlehem during the holiday season. Some then visited Bethlehem and invested in the city.”

Hallmark Channel has not yet announced if it will be doing another Christmas Cam in the city this holiday season.