Luminaria Night


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Luminaria Night started in 1998 in the neighborhood west of Linden Street and north of Johnston Drive when three neighbors wanted to recreate the tradition of connecting homes with the light of candles in bags at the holiday season. In order to determine an interest in participating, they sent out an informational letter to about sixty homes, explaining the nature of the event and the cost of luminaria kits. Through the sale of kits, they raised $300 that first year, all of which was donated to a family in need. In the early years of the event, several different charities benefited from Luminaria Night. Among them was New Bethany Ministries, which provides meals, financial services, and housing to poor, hungry, mentally disabled individuals and homeless families in the Lehigh Valley. Because the founders of the event were so impressed with the outreach of New Bethany, they decided to affiliate themselves permanently in 2003. Since then, Luminaria Night has grown every year, adding new neighborhoods, block captains, and regional captains each year. In 2011, we lit up over 3,200 homes and businesses with 7,600 kits (76,000 candles), raising $72,000.

From a desire to connect with neighbors and light up a small neighborhood at the holidays, Luminaria Night has grown to a valley-wide collaboration illuminating many neighborhoods in a beautiful evening of light and giving. If you have been with us from the beginning, we thank you for your on-going support.


Intern for the Downtown Bethlehem Association!


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DBA LogoThere are a few DBA internship opportunities and each will provide the student with many unique opportunities not available in the average office setting. The Bethlehem office of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce works directly with the City of Bethlehem on their marketing and communitiy redevelopment initiatives. With the economy slowing down individuals’ spending downtown, our new marketing initiatives are vital and particularly exciting to our merchants. The intern will not only network with members of the city’s administration, but with owners of small and large businesses in the Greater Bethlehem area. The experiences and relationships gained through this unpaid internship will certainly equip any student with desirable professional qualities and set them apart in an ever-increasingly difficult job market.

Below is a list of duties:


Internship Opportunities:

Blogging Internship
Marketing Internship

Click HERE to apply!

Meet The Current Blogging Intern

Hi Readers! My name is Brittany Foster and I’ve been behind the B!News Insider for these past few months. I’m a Lehigh University student and I just finished my last undergraduate semester where I majored in Political Science with minors in Mass Communication and Philosophy. Starting in January, I’ll be a Presidential Scholar working on my Master’s degree in Political Science at Lehigh as a Community Fellow with RenewLV.

I ended up at the Downtown Bethlehem Association after finding the listing on the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s blog (I spend a lot of time on the blogosphere). After bugging DBA Manager Samantha Schwartz with writing samples all summer, I had an interview as soon as I got back to school…and started blogging two days later! This has been my 8th internship and one of the busiest. After blogging six times per week, I’ve posted 74 articles on the B! News Insider, interviewed dozens of local vendors, city residents and festival volunteers, learned to edit a little HTML and worn the letters off of my keyboard. I would recommend this internship to anyone who loves to write, loves Bethlehem and wants to build their portfolio.

Thanks to everyone who’s read the first months of B! News Insider, it’s been my pleasure to entertain you!

Your Bethlehem Day Trip Itinerary!


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Arrive in Historic Bethlehem on your first shopping stop, Christmas City Village, an open-air Christmas market, nestled in the heart of the Historic Shopping District in Bethlehem. Fashioned after the traditional German Weihnachtsmarkt (pronounced vy-naukts-markt), the Christmas City Village features 20 wooden huts, where vendors will sell a variety of holiday crafts and gifts. Enjoy traditional German fare, or hot mulled wine, as you meander through a market that boasts no admission fee!


Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday during the month of December, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem hosts a special Christmas lunch buffet with seatings from 11:00am-1:30pm. The buffet will consist of soup, a salad bar, several entrées, sides and a dessert display. Light Entertainment is also included.


Walk over to the Bethlehem Public Library to play life sized Candy Land. Play in this life-sized version of everyone’s favorite childhood board game, collect candy, and make crafts. Surprise your children with a chat with Santa when they reach the finish. Purchase family tickets (up to 4 children) for $14.07 at the Main Library.


Take a ride on the free Christmas City Trolley over to the South Side to continue your shopping at Christkindlmarkt, recognized by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top holiday markets in the world, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nations finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more. Shop, snack, rest and listen to life performances on the main stage.


Walk up to Molly’s Irish Pub for a hearty meal and to catch up on all the sporting events you missed today on their multiple big screens. They’ve got a stellar, gut-busting appetizer menu and traditional Irish fare as well as standard pub favorites for their dinner menu. For the house special, try a Molly’s burger, medium-rare with fries instead of chips.


Stroll down to Zoellner Arts Center to hear the Lehigh Philharmonic play an all-Tschaikovsky concert, including holiday favorites like The Sleeping Beauty Waltz and The Nutcracker Suite. It promises to be a wonderful concert, tickets for adults are $18 and students are free.


Safe travels home, with a lot of shopping crossed off of your Christmas list and the dance of the sugar plum fairies playing in your head.

5 Things To Do In Bethlehem This Weekend!


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1. Candy Lane at the Library

Play in a life-sized version of everyone’s favorite childhood board game, collect candy, and make crafts. Surprise your children with a chat with Santa when they reach the finish. The Library’s Teen Advisory Board has transformed the area on the Library’s second floor into the giant game board (the space that will eventually become the new Children’s Center). Teens have recreated magical places along the multi-colored path complete with candy citizens of the fictitious realm. The game is open to the public between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

2. Hear the Lehigh University Philharmonic play the Nutcracker

The Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Eugene Albulescu present The Music of Tchaikosky concert on Friday and Saturday, December 7 and 8 at 8 pm in Baker Hall featuring an all Tchaikovsky program including the waltz from the ballet The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker Suite and Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 74, Pathetique.

3. Bring in December with First Friday!timthumb

First Friday is a monthly celebration of arts and culture in the Southside Shopping and Arts District of Bethlehem and this month, there will be a toy drive for the holidays. After you make a donation, peruse the art galleries, unique boutiques, salons and shops, while enjoying food and wine samples, live music, and special deals. Enjoy happy hour, or grab dinner at one of the downtown restaurants for a full evening of fun.

4. Check out The Happy Elf, put on by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre

Eubie is the happiest elf at the North Pole. More than anything else, he longs to be a part of Santa’s sleigh team. Instead, he’s stuck checking the naughty-or-nice lists. But this Christmas Eve, he notices something strange: in the entire town of Bluesville, not a single person has been nice. So with a pinch of elfish magic, help from his friends, and his unending holiday spirit, Eubie sets off to turn all of those children from naughty to nice in just one day! Based on the beloved holiday song “The Happy Elf” by Grammy Award winner Harry Connick, Jr., The Happy Elf is a new holiday classic for the entire family. Click on the link for ticket information

5. Keep shopping at Chriskindlmarkt

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nations finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more. Be sure to stop by the glassblowing booth, where beautiful ornaments and decorations are always being made. You can even try your hand at making your own glass ornament, perfect for gift giving or the family’s Christmas Tree.

Coke’s Holiday Caravan Is Coming To Bethlehem

You can always tell it’s the holiday season when Coca Cola starts to run their cuddly polar bear coke commercials. But the soda magnate is not only traveling into your commercial time, but also your community!

Coca Cola’s 18-wheel semi-truck, decorated with 25,000 twinkling red and white lights, will be on Main Street in Bethlehem, between Broad and Walnut streets 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 22, according to their news release.

The day’s festivities are free and open to the public and will include a little bit of our local flavor with performances by the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem will take the stage at 5pm. The Peep Mobile, B104 and the Lehigh Valley Harmonizers will also be in attendance. The Live Advent Calendar will also be unveiled with Ostara at 6pm. Visitors to the caravan can also enter a raffle to win a $1,000 gift card to use at Giant or other great Downtown Bethlehem gift certificates!

There will be a truck lighting ceremony and free photos with Santa. The truck comes with its own portable holiday stage, including Christmas trees, benches, fences and a stage all stored in the trailer and pulled by a red car. I guess Santa’s sled didn’t have enough reindeer power!

Decorate Your House…For Your School!

Your home holiday decorations can bring $100,000 to Bethlehem Area School District this year and another $500 for you to cover those pesky electric bills that seem to spike whenever you light up your home., the AOL community newspaper website, is in full swing with their annual holiday decoration contest. It started in late November, but you still have until December 16 to submit your pictures here! Local holiday lovers will get to vote on your pictures and there will be one “Best Decked House” in 906 Patches, 24 national semi finalists and one grand winner from the entire country who will receive $100,000 to their local school district.

Check out the official contest video from right here!

Sure, it’s a big country with a lot of holiday decorations, but we’re the official Christmas city so let’s win this one!

Live Advent Calendar

The Bethlehem Live Advent calendar is the only one of its kind in the country! Visitors to Historic Downtown Bethlehem will enjoy the 6th Annual one-of-a-kind tradition in 2012! Beginning on December 1st at 5 p.m., the “Live Advent Calendar” will open at the 1810 Goundie House at 505 Main Street.

The merchants of the Downtown Bethlehem Association (in conjunction with Historic Bethlehem Partnership (HBP) will provide a special treat to the visitors every day at 5 p.m.! Crowds of up to 300 gather for the 10 minute program, so get there early! The program will run through December 23, 2012.

Visitors gather outside the door of the Goundie House. At the time of the presentation, a selected visitor will be asked to walk up to the door and open it. When the door is opened, a special guest from a local business or organization will appear and distribute treats among the crowd. The idea of the “Live Advent Calendar” is from the tradition of Advent Calendars or Christmas Countdown Calendars for children and families. With a traditional calendar, there is a set number of “doors” to open each day as Christmas draws near. Traditional calendars provide a treat or verbiage each day.

The traditional colonial design of the décor on the door to the Goundie House is due to the creative talent and generosity of Mary Cabbott Butler, owner of Ostara at 521 Main Street. Charlene Donchez Mowers, Historic Bethlehem’s executive director is generously allowing the DBA to use the door to Bethlehem’s first brick house as the site of the Live Advent Calendar.

Here’s the schedule of this year’s vendors!

Saturday, December 1 – Lehigh University
Sunday, December 2 – Chris Bowen – town brewer
Monday, December 3 – YOUniversity of Music & Arts
Tuesday, December 4 – Roey’s Paintbox Parties
Wednesday, December 5 – Stations Café
Thursday, December 6 – Visitor’s Center
Friday, December 7 – Hotel Bethlehem
Saturday, December 8 – Lehigh Valley Zoo
Sunday, December 9 – Moravian Book Shop
Monday, December 10 – Godfrey Daniels
Tuesday, December 11 – Krisann Albanese LLC
Wednesday, December 12 – American Hairlines
Thursday, December 13 – Bethlehem Brew Works
Friday, December 14 – Celtic Cultural Alliance
Saturday, December 15 – Girlfriends Boutique
Sunday, December 16 – Station’s Café
Monday, December 17 – McCarthy’s Tea Room
Tuesday, December 18 – Melting Pot
Wednesday, December 19 – Bethlehem Area Library
Thursday, December 20 – Franklin Hill Vineyards
Friday, December 21 – Donegal Square
Saturday, December 22 – Ostara
Sunday, December 23 – McCarthy’s Tea Room
Monday, December 24 – Fun-Nominal Events

Merchant Monday! Advanced Aesthetics

Advanced Aesthetics of PA is the Lehigh Valley’s premier destination for aesthetic and cosmetic enhancement and it’s located right in the heart of Historic Bethlehem on West Broad Street. The qualified and passionate team strives to offer their clientele the very best in service and quality in a warm, kind environment meanwhile giving the clientele the broadest selection of product and physician choice to ensure optimum procedural outcome without compromising client comfort.

Advanced Aesthetics of PA is the brain child of senior aesthetician and proprietor Sedler. Karen envisioned a practice exclusively tuned to today’s man or woman seeking the foremost cutting edge and technologically advanced non-invasive procedures including advanced chemical peels, facials, microdermabrasion, laser services, permanent makeup and tattoo removal.

Consultation services are also offered for clients seeking more invasive procedures including facial injectables, liposuction and plastic surgery whom will be referred to on-staff physicians for final evaluation and treatment.

Along with the core services listed above, Advanced Aesthetics of PA will offer routine education classes and seminars for industry professionals as well as open houses and lectures for the general public in an effort to promote advancements in products, capital equipment and technique as well as allow patients and professionals the opportunity to meet and network with our staff and physicians.

Your Bethlehem Day Trip!


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Arrive in the Historic District for an early lunch at Apollo Grill. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try an early cocktail from the bar. Either way, grab a filling lunch before you embark on the day. We recommend the grilled chicken panini with fresh mozzarella, arugula, pesto, garlic butter, basil, tomatoes, onion and red pepper.


Now we know you’ve come to the Christmas city to shop, so let’s get started in the outdoor market set up along Main Street. You’ll find 30 vendors with outdoor huts as well as the many Historic District vendors that you can find in their regular buildings. Peruse, purchase, repeat.


All aboard the free Christmas City trolley, which will take you from the outdoor Christmas City market across the river and to Christkindlmarkt where you can find just about everything you and your loved ones would ever want. Continue the shopping and pick up a snack while you listen to Christmas tunes on the stage. We recommend a funnel cake (who cares that you haven’t had dinner yet?).


Move on to the Steel Pub for a Christmas themed bar crawl. Festivities kick off 5 p.m. Saturday at the Steel Pub. The crawl will continue on to Loopers’ Grille and BarJ.P. MacGrady’sMolly’s Irish Grille, Sotto Santi’s and the Tally-Ho Tavern.


While you’re not lacking liquid at this point, we bet you’re hungry so scoot back over to Sotto Santi’s for a late dinner. Their kitchen is open past midnight so if the bar crawl goes a little late, you can still get a phenomenal pizza. The crust-to-sauce-to-cheese ratio is out of this world.


Once you’re feeling dried out from your crawl, drive on home with all your holiday purchases and great stories about all your Christmas drinks! Hope you enjoyed the Christmas City!

5 Things To Do In Bethlehem This Weekend!

1. Southside Christmas Bar Crawl

Need relief from holiday shopping already? Maybe you just need a way to warm up after the first snow. Put on a holiday costume and join the Christmas Pub Crawl embarking on Bethlehem’s South Side this weekend. Festivities kick off 5 p.m. Saturday at the Steel Pub. The crawl will continue on to Loopers’ Grille and BarJ.P. MacGrady’sMolly’s Irish Grille, Sotto Santi’s and the Tally-Ho Tavern.

2. Buy your holiday greenery

Deck your halls with greens and holiday crafts from Burnside Plantation! Choose from an extensive selection of fresh greens, including wreaths, swags, garlands, and bouquets, all lovingly assembled by the Burnside Crafters. Stop by this Saturday or Sunday, free entry!

3. Shop Christkindlmarkt or in the Historic open market

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nations finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more. Be sure to stop by the glassblowing booth, where beautiful ornaments and decorations are always being made. You can even try your hand at making your own glass ornament, perfect for gift giving or the family’s Christmas Tree.

4. See the Christmas City Follies at Touchstone Theatre

Ring in the Mayan Apocalypse with Bethlehem’s favorite Holiday tradition! This Touchstone Theatre ensemble-created classic yet again re-imagines what the holidays are all about with music, wit and holiday hijinks. We look forward to standing under the mistletoe with you.

5. Check out the Bethlehem Area Public Library Holiday Book Sale

From 11am-4pm on Saturday, BAPL will be selling books, DVDs and music in the Southside branch. You’re sure to find something for the book or movie lover in your family! All proceeds benefit the library.