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Michael Rielly

Bethlehem aims to upgrade Christmas decorations

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Michael Rielly

Bethlehem aims to upgrade Christmas decorations

WFMZ News
By Josh Rultenberg
March 26, 2019

EXCERPT:

Hotel-Bethlehem-IMG_1067.jpg

The city of Bethlehem prides itself on being the Christmas City, but some are worried the decorations may be out of touch.

The city is hosting a public meeting next week along with a consultant they've hired in preparation for a multi-year plan to reinvigorate the holiday spirit.

City of Bethlehem officials say the holiday season is "a major economic driver of the city's economy."

Even though they anticipate expensive renovations, they say it's worth it.

"Christkindlmarkt had 89,000 people in 2017 alone," Allyson Lehr, Bethlehem's Housing & Community Development Planner, said.

"We're welcoming that amount of people into the city each year. We need to make a really good first impression," she said.

Officials are looking to upgrade to the overall decor and lighting over the next five years.

"Which could be everything from the trees that you see on the poles to the trees that you see, the static trees around on Payrow Plaza," Lehr said.

The city has contracted David Weiner Design to create a proposal. Weiner typically works with music festivals, but has experience with Christmas and large-scale installation.

He's got already got some ideas on how to beautify Bethlehem.

"There is something about nostalgia and something about the history of Bethlehem and its history with Christmas and Christmas decor and the way it draws people to the city that's something that we want to explore," Weiner said in a phone interview.

Lehr is impressed with the designer's direction so far.

"He's found historical postcards from Bethlehem, actually in a Boston library, watercolor postcards and it depicts the city at Christmas," Lehr said. "He's looking at those and seeing what elements were used and trying to draw on that."

Officials are hoping Weiner can find a theme to tie in the entire city while accentuating its uniqueness.

"We have very different feels on both sides of the river. This is the very traditional historic Moravian District and the south side's a little arts district, a little funkier and interesting so there's a way to have a cohesive identity through the city but yet bring out the two distinct feels," Lehr said.

Lehr says the city paid for the planning study with a grant from Northampton County along with private donation and money from the general fund. The city hopes to pay for the installation of these modifications in a similar fashion.

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Drosselmeyer

its nice to know we are not the only people thinking ahead to Christmas in March . . . 

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Santa Johnny Boy

This looks like it would be really something to see.  Maybe Schwindy can run over and take some photos and post them here?

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Drosselmeyer
6 hours ago, Santa Johnny Boy said:

This looks like it would be really something to see.  Maybe Schwindy can run over and take some photos and post them here?

maybe I need an excuse to get up and visit with "the Schwindenhammer" . . . 

           perhaps taking this in could be that excuse.....

                  what say you @Schwindy  ?   should we ask @Santa Johnny Boy to join us ??

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Schwindy
20 hours ago, Michael Rielly said:

Bethlehem aims to upgrade Christmas decorations

WFMZ News
By Josh Rultenberg
March 26, 2019

EXCERPT:

Hotel-Bethlehem-IMG_1067.jpg

The city of Bethlehem prides itself on being the Christmas City, but some are worried the decorations may be out of touch.

The city is hosting a public meeting next week along with a consultant they've hired in preparation for a multi-year plan to reinvigorate the holiday spirit.

City of Bethlehem officials say the holiday season is "a major economic driver of the city's economy."

Even though they anticipate expensive renovations, they say it's worth it.

"Christkindlmarkt had 89,000 people in 2017 alone," Allyson Lehr, Bethlehem's Housing & Community Development Planner, said.

"We're welcoming that amount of people into the city each year. We need to make a really good first impression," she said.

Officials are looking to upgrade to the overall decor and lighting over the next five years.

"Which could be everything from the trees that you see on the poles to the trees that you see, the static trees around on Payrow Plaza," Lehr said.

The city has contracted David Weiner Design to create a proposal. Weiner typically works with music festivals, but has experience with Christmas and large-scale installation.

He's got already got some ideas on how to beautify Bethlehem.

"There is something about nostalgia and something about the history of Bethlehem and its history with Christmas and Christmas decor and the way it draws people to the city that's something that we want to explore," Weiner said in a phone interview.

Lehr is impressed with the designer's direction so far.

"He's found historical postcards from Bethlehem, actually in a Boston library, watercolor postcards and it depicts the city at Christmas," Lehr said. "He's looking at those and seeing what elements were used and trying to draw on that."

Officials are hoping Weiner can find a theme to tie in the entire city while accentuating its uniqueness.

"We have very different feels on both sides of the river. This is the very traditional historic Moravian District and the south side's a little arts district, a little funkier and interesting so there's a way to have a cohesive identity through the city but yet bring out the two distinct feels," Lehr said.

Lehr says the city paid for the planning study with a grant from Northampton County along with private donation and money from the general fund. The city hopes to pay for the installation of these modifications in a similar fashion.

The Christmas setting in Bethlehem is QUITE large area, in the past, it hasn't been much of a head turner let alone to tell you all YES IT IS A MUST COME AND SEE.
I forgot to add this! So doing it now 4/1/19 2:10 AM
They charge $10 - $20 just for the privileged to "shop" on the grounds of Kindle Mart area, that too is why I haven't been back because of the lack of goods and even if you don't buy anything it will cost you an entrance fee.


      Now the last few years I have heard from a few friends, all saying the same things. WOW have you seen it lately Schwindy? My quick to the point answer is NO, not since year two or three. BUT Since I have heard from a friend of a friend about this happening, (upgrades as well as great decorations starting to be happening) it MIGHT BE TIME TO HEAD ON OVER. I'd tell everyone of you guys, hold on to your seats and let me take a good long look as well as YES a few photos and lets see how things turn out this year. And maybe this is something a few of you could come into town for and I'd tell ya where to go for A, B, & of course food! As many of you know, I KNOW FOOD!

   It's a great area, with tons of room and if they run the trams / buses, the parking is NEVER a problem. I'll keep you guys updated

4 hours ago, Drosselmeyer said:

maybe I need an excuse to get up and visit with "the Schwindenhammer" . . . 

           perhaps taking this in could be that excuse.....

                  what say you @Schwindy  ?   should we ask @Santa Johnny Boy to join us ??

  That would BE great, but B/4 U as well as HE, lets make sure it's worth the trip! Because if you rely on me for entertainment ........... image.png.7561861524c408d639074e8496273be3.png

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Can't wait to see what they do as MANY, buildings, old city, older homes and the hotel Bethlehem is in a perfect spot for the decorations. I know the area well as I use to deliver Levitz furniture as well as I worked near by at a local funeral home. This is the same place Musicfest is held for the last 35 years! That is done well and I hope they take notes from the way they do things. That being said Musicfest started out as FREE MUSIC and NO BILL to hear and see GOOD and well known musicians in a natural setting, park like settings. Well they tried and it is still going so I HOPE THIS HAPPENS and QUICKLY, because being so close I'd LOVE to enjoy it! 

Edited by Schwindy
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Santa Johnny Boy
6 hours ago, Schwindy said:


I forgot to add this! So doing it now 4/1/19 2:10 AM
They charge $10 - $20 just for the privileged to "shop" on the grounds of Kindle Mart area, that too is why I haven't been back because of the lack of goods and even if you don't buy anything it will cost you an entrance fee.


   

Ten to Twenty Bucks just to get in?????? That's highway robbery!!!!  :sc_rasberry: They can learn a lot from Pittsburgh's Holiday Market:  free to get in, free entertainment, free children's activities and free horse & buggy rides.  A visit with Santa is only five bucks ad that money goes to the food bank.

The vendors make such a huge profit from the high volume of shoppers, there is a waiting list for spaces.

Save up your gas money and come visit the 'Burgh...:111:

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