By Lauren Bertucci
When the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania comes to mind it is generally associated with the Holiday season. Considering we are “The Christmas City,” this does not come as a bug surprise! From the start of November to the end of December, the city is bustling with holiday shoppers, horses and carriages, and tourists coming to see attractions like the Christmas Village or the Live Advent Calendar. However, many people do not realize the other entertaining and unique events that the city has to offer. Whether its exploring the various restaurants in the downtown or gathering at the Sun Inn Courtyard for an outdoor concert, the possibilities are endless! Therefore, I have made it my mission to help you plan your 2018 in Downtown Bethlehem: a little town with big events.
Bethlehem Go Bragh
March 15-17, 2018
A Downtown event with an Irish twist. This celebration is held around St. Patty’s Day and is a very fun and family friendly couple days. Before the event I printed out the passport online and then was on a hunt to figure out which limericks corresponded with various participating restaurants and stores. It was really cool trying to solve them and I felt very accomplished once I did. Not to mention that I was very motivated by the “ultimate Pot O’ Gold,” which included prizes from participating locations. When you match Downtown locations with limericks your passport gets stamps, which ultimately gets your name entered in the Pot O’ Gold drawing, so make sure you try them all out! This isn’t the only Irish fun going on during this event though. I highly recommend checking out what other locations in the Downtown have to offer for this fun-filled St. Patty’s celebration!
Historic District Cleanup
April 21, 2018
I love this event because it shows a community coming together for one common cause: keeping the Downtown a beautiful place to visit and live. Volunteers from high schools, colleges, churches, and more gathered in the Sun Inn Courtyard for a quick breakfast and then were off to clean up the streets of Historic Bethlehem. Along with disposing of litter, we also planted new flowers for Spring, which really brought something extra to our already beautiful city. Overall, I thought it was a very successful and fulfilling day!
Summer Restaurant Week
June 24-30, 2018
In my opinion, one of the best weeks in downtown Bethlehem! Not only do a bunch of restaurants have amazing food, but their prices are incredible too. Last year I went with my boyfriend and parents to Brick for a delicious three course meal (even better because I did not have to pay). The weather was perfect to sit outside, enjoy great company, and an even better meal. The Downtown Bethlehem Association also has every person that orders of the restaurant week menu fill out a slip that enters them in a drawing for two gift cards from every participating restaurant. I’m a huge foodie and push myself to try more of the restaurants in the Downtown. This is definitely the perfect time to do it!
Tunes at Twilight
May 3-July 21, 2018
Warm nights, great music, family outing, and drinks with friends – I can’t think of a better way to describe Tunes at Twilight, a summer concert series held in the Sun Inn Courtyard from 6-8PM. Once a week the Downtown Bethlehem Association brings a different local band to the stage, their styles including soul, pop, and more! When I attended the event this past year, it seemed perfect for anyone who wanted to have a relaxed, enjoyable night on the town. Not to mention the alcohol selection varies every week, so it is always fun to see the different drinks offered at each concert.
July 14, 2018
At first, I did not know how much this event applied to me considering that I am not a vegan or vegetarian. However, that is certainly not a requirement for this event. I found it to be one of the more unique events I attended in the Downtown. The venue was lined with food trucks and tents that all provided delicious vegan and vegetarian options. Although, the event was not just food based. There was a variety of speakers, a masseuse, and vendors with environmentally friendly soaps, make up, clothes, and more! VegFest also had activities for kids like face painting and crafts, making it a nice family outing. Even if you are not a vegan or vegetarian, I highly recommend the festival. It is a lot of fun and offers a lot of new experiences!
October 6, 2018
This event was an absolute blast! There were three different trails offered during the festival and a family fun area, making it a great family outing. The soup trail, which was my favorite, was absolutely delicious. The downtown restaurants really outdid themselves! My friends and I had a fun time going to different locations to try various wines and also enjoyed going down Main Street to visit the various beer trail vendors. My other favorite portion of the day was the live music that was going on at both Main Street and the Sun Inn Courtyard. All the bands were fantastic to listen to while we explored the three trails. This is THE biggest festival that goes on in the Historic District, so you don’t want to miss it! I encourage everyone to bring their friends, families, and children to enjoy a beautiful Fall day in the Downtown!
Holiday Cocktail Trail
November 17, 2018
If you plan on attending this event I advise you get to your computer well before tickets go on sale! Passports sell out like crazy, because this is one event that you do not want to miss. I attended this year with my best friend and her mom on the boozy trail and we had an amazing time. There are two trail options, red and green. There were about 10-12 various locations that we got to visit, and delicious cocktail samples awaited us at each one. When we went to registration we received very cute sampler glasses with the Get Downtown logo on the front. For me it was a great girls’ day out and I would recommend it to any of my friends and family. Not to mention it’s perfect for some fun and relaxation before the holiday craziness begins!