Throwback Thursday, Courtesy of the Bethlehem Police

The Bethlehem Police Department is great at keeping us all up to date with their active Twitter account and blog, but recently they’ve been treating us to bits of Bethlehem crime history!

In a new tab on their blog, you can check out what they’re calling BPD Nostalgia. “We are very fortunate that those before us had the foresight to preserve some interesting pieces of information. We are happy to have in our possession several scrap-books containing newspaper clippings from years ago,” according to the deparment and boy are those scrapbooks HUGE! So far, here are some clips of our favorites.

If you think weekends in 2012 can get a bit rowdy, you’re lucky you weren’t around in 1918 where one weekend, six Bethlehem residents were picked up for drunkenness and disorderly conduct (their fines ranged from $3 to a whopping $5!). In more serious crime that weekend, we had two New York City criminals selling furs without a license and a man run out of town for soliciting alms! The horror, the horror!

Even more scandalous yet and around the same time, Mrs. Murphy’s daughter ran away from Scranton to marry an Italian man with the alias Gordon. Mrs. Murphy went to the Bethlehem police after she couldn’t find her daughter at the fake Bethlehem address that Gordon provided. The police hunted the couple for days before they found that they had eloped in Scranton two weeks before after a church in Easton refused to marry them. Of course the young Ms. Murphy lied about being 15 and scrawled 21 on her marriage license. Mrs. Murphy came to collect her daughter at the Lehigh Valley police station. Our current police department ventured a guess that, “It’s going to be a very long ride back to Scranton.”

So beware getting arrested now, your great grandchildren could be reading it on the police blog in a hundred years!

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The Christmas City Trolley

As you learned here a few weeks ago, Christkindlmarkt is in its 20th anniversary year and has moved to the Southside but don’t think the Historic District is lacking in Christmas retail!

When Christkindlmarkt moved across the river last year, the Downtown Bethlehem Association opened a new market in the Northside. It’s called the Weihnachtsmarkt and is a traditional German outdoor market that comes to life on Main Street during the weekends. Last year, there were only 20 tents. This year, 10 more huts have been added because the market was so popular. In fact, it was so popular that there was a waiting list for the tents this year!

So now you have two awesome Christmas markets that you need to get to, what do you do? Ride the Christmas City Trolley, of course! Not only is this a great way to hit up both of the markets and the Historic shops, but it’s also free!

The Shoppes at the Sands and the Bethlehem Parking Authority teamed up to sponsor this shuttle which will run from the outlets, to Walnut Street and then to both of the festivals.

“When people visit Bethlehem the Christmas City, they come to experience everything it has to offer,” Mark Demko, Artsquest spokesman, told the Express Times. “This will certainly be an easy and convenient way to get around.”

Check out the route map right here! 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

ChristkindlMarkt Is Underway

It started last weekend, but don’t worry – ChristKindlMarkt is here to stay for the season!
Over the past two decades, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem has delighted almost one million guests from near and far with its mix of unique gift ideas, old-world charm and holiday cheer. This year the festival will celebrate 20 years of holiday magic with a six-week run that features more than 125 vendors each week, more than ever before.

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. 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.

Merchant Mondays! Sugar Babe Cupcakes

There are few things better than a cupcake and there are even fewer better than our very own Sugar Babe Cupcakes.

Located on Broad Street in Historic Bethlehem, Sugar Babe Cupcakes has been tickling our tastebuds for three years now and we wanted to get to know them better!

This sweet bakery was opened by the equally sweet Angela Malpedo. After graduating college and doing post-graduate work in an entirely different field, Angela opened Sugar Babe Cupcakes, saying she knew all along that this is what she really wanted to do (and we sure are happy about that!).

When you talk to Angela, you’ll instantly realize how much she loves her bakery and her cupcakes. We, of course, love them too. Her best-selling cupcake is the Serendipity, a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling topped wit chocolate frosting and a peanut butter cookie. Has the world ever seen a more decadent combination?

So, we have a passionate owner and phenomenal cupcakes – could it get any better? Yes! Every month, Angela donates a percentage of her profits to different charities. Recently, she’s donated to The Get In Touch Foundation, The Coco Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society among others!

If you haven’t ordered anything from Sugar Babe Cupcakes, don’t wait any longer!

Your Bethlehem Day Trip!

We know that Thanksgiving is next week and you’re probably fretting over in-laws, turkeys and pies but this is a perfect weekend to get a headstart on your Christmas shopping and spirit!

11:00am:

Be one of the first to get into ChristKindlMarkt when the doors open. Each weekend will have 125 vendors (a new record) in celebration of ChristKindlMarkt’s 20th anniversary so you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list.

1:00pm:

Not only does ChristKindlMarkt have the most unique gifts for your friends and family, they also have food. Carnival food. And since fair and carnival season is over this year because of the colder weather, this is the perfect place to get your greasy burgers, fries, chicken fingers, funnel cakes, lemonades and ice cream. We know you’ve  been missing food carts!

2:00pm:

Like every other American with cable, you’ve at least run into The Sound Of Music once when it plays on ABC Family every Thanksgiving. If you’re a real fan, you’ve probably already added “My Favorite Things” to your holiday playlist and this year, you’re in for a real treat as the Von Trapp children are going to be performing in the MusikFest Cafe. The great granddaughter and grandson of Maria and Caption von Trapp will be singing holiday favorites – don’t miss it!

4:00pm:

Make your way over to Historic Bethlehem to catch the end of PopMart’s sale. When you buy 3 regularly priced items, you get the 4th for free! And after buying Christmas gifts all morning, you really deserve to add four new fashionable pieces to your own wardrobe!

5:30pm:

After your fair food earlier, it’s time for a real, high-quality meal. Walk over to Mama Nina’s and enjoy a hearty bowl of warm pasta on a cold night. There’s no better feeling. We recommend the fettucine alredo, but be sure to also help yourself to plenty of delicious garlic knots before your meal arrives.

7:00pm:

Walk off your carbo-load in Historic Bethlehem, enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. It’ll be a crisp evening, so bring a scarf. Maybe even a new one that you bought this afternoon!

8:00pm:

Enjoy a nightcap at Edge Restaurant at the end of your walk. They have an exceptionally unique cocktail menu that’s sure to tickle any palette. Our recommendation is the Rhubarb Martini (Svedka vodka, Rhuby liquor and spiced rhubarb). It’s the grown-up, liquid rhubarb pie!

9:30pm:

Safe travels home! We hope to see you back in the Christmas City before the end of the season!

5 Things To Do In Bethlehem This Weekend

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1. See the Vega String Quartet perform at Zoellner (Saturday, 8pm, Baker Hall)

The quartet in residence at Emory University performs music by composers Paul Salerni and Jan Jirásek, featuring the world premiere of Salerni’s Generation, a song cycle on poems by Annie Reiner; Jirásek’s A Fragile Balance: Letters to Heaven. Guest artists include Yunah Lee and Leslie Johnson, sopranos, with Robin Kani, flute, Oren Fader, guitar, Deborah Andrus, clarinet, Steven Reisteter, saxophone and Dominick Fiore, bass.

2. Listen to the Von Trapp Children sing (Saturday, 2pm & 7:30pm, Musikfest Cafe)

They’ve delighted audiences around the world, now they’re back in the Christmas City for the first time since 2006! This holiday season, don’t miss the world-renowned von Trapp Children as they return to Bethlehem for a very limited engagement! Join Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and Justin ” the great-grandchildren of Maria and Baron von Trapp of The Sound of Music ” as they continue the von Trapps’ love of singing beautiful songs. Just as The Sound of Music captivated the world, these talented, young singers will capture your heart as they perform timeless holiday classics, favorites from the world-famous musical and some of the most beloved folk and Broadway tunes of all time.

3. Shop at Christkindlmarkt (Friday – Sunday, 11am-8pm, ArtsQuest)

In it’s opening weekend check out ArtsQuest’s popular holiday marketplace! 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. 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. Take a Southside Carriage Ride and Christmas Tour (Sunday, 1-6pm, ArtsQuest)

See the lights and sites of the Christmas City in a horse-drawn carriage ride. On these guided tours, you will discover Bethlehem’s rich history and architecture as you and your family and friends ride through SouthSide Bethlehem in an elegant and cozy White Christmas decorated Vis-A-Vis Carriage. Carriage rides are 15 minutes long and can accommodate up to four passengers. Advance reservations are required.

5. Get a great deal at PopMart (Friday-Saturday, PopMart)

Through this Saturday, when you buy any 3 regularly priced items at PopMart and you’ll get the next one free. Check out the coupon here for all the information.

Pennsylvania Youth Theatre Hosts First Annual Gala

Though it may be PYT’s first annual gala, they’ve wasted no time in getting big headliners. The creative team behind the 2005 Christmas movie, The Happy Elf, are coming to help fund-raise for the youth theatre. This creative team includes Harry Connick, Jr, Lauren Gunderson and Gordon Greenberg. 

This year, PYT will be performing their own Happy Elf with production help from Connick, Jr and there will be a small preview of the show at the gala as well as live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

This spectacular event will be held at Moravian College’s Foy Hall on Saturday, November 17th so if you plan to attend, it’s time to purchase your tickets and shine up your nice shoes for the black-tie-optional affair. You may purchase your tickets here!

PYT’s shows of Happy Elf will begin on December 1, and if you don’t know the story, here’s their summary: 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.

We wish them luck in their gala and their season!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

We know we’ve jumped the turkey this year, but as of this morning 100.7 WLEV has started playing Christmas music.

Not only can you listen to Christmas music in the Valley now, you may also see traces of holiday decorations popping up around Bethlehem! The tree next to City Hall is up, trees are going up on intersections and light posts, candles are out, ChrisKindlMarkt opens this weekend and if you leave the house without a jacket you’re asking for a cold!

But back to the music, here are some of our favorites!

 
For the fans of nontraditional holiday tunes: Dominik The Donkey

An oldie but a goodie, Wham’s Last Christmas

One of Mariah Carey’s all-time greatest hits, All I Want for Christmas is You

And for a new twist on an old favorite, Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing Carol of the Bells

Holiday Cocktail Trail

Come join the Downtown Bethlehem Association for our First Annual Holiday Cocktail Trail on November 17! With the Christmas open house, Christkindlmarkt and the holiday season in full swing, we would like to present a fun day filled with great drinks and great stores. When you purchase your tickets HERE, you’ll be ready to sample 20 different holiday cocktails – that’s right, not just egg nog – at participating Downtown Bethlehem Stores and restaurants. As if 20 different festive drinks weren’t enough for you to purchase your ticket instantly, with each purchase you’re going to get a free ticket to Christkindlmarkt!

The trail begins at noon on Saturday the 17th and goes until 6pm. The businesses and restaurants will be decked out for the holidays and ready to give you a sample of their chosen Christmas inspired cocktail.

Participating locations already include:

Krisann Albanese LLC
Keystone Homebrew Supply
American Hairlines
Bethlehem Brew Works
Musselman Jewelers
Accessories Boutique
Artfully Elegant
Donegal Square
Franklin Hill Vineyards
Girlfriends Boutique
Allentown Beverage
Hotel Bethlehem
Ostara
Shuze
The Pepper Spray Store
Tapas on Main
Clementine Salon
The Gem Shop
Hand Cut Crystal
Dating Accessories
Sun Inn
Edge

In addition to drinking, there are also opportunities to volunteer with this new event and our other Christmas festivities. Click here to learn more and give us your contact infomation!

Merchant Monday’s! Cutters Bike Shop

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Riding a bike may seem like the last thing you want to do in the hurricane weather that we’re expecting, but when the rain clears up, don’t forget about Cutters Bike Shop.

If you’re looking for a bike, bike accessories or people to ride with, Cutters is the right spot for you. They’re located on East 3rd Street in the South Side and are staying open for the winter (but they will be closed on Sundays).

Now let’s get to know Cutters a little bit better! We talked to Lisa Ronca, co-owner, how it all began. “My husband John, myself and our daughter Abby opened Cutters in July of 2009. We have been together for over 15 years and both grew up in the Lehigh Valley. We met at the Funhouse about 17 years ago and both worked together there for about 2 years before we started dating,” she said. “We starting riding together for fun and things evolved from there. For about 4 years prior to us opening John worked at Action Wheels on the Northside of Bethlehem. We decided to open our own shop as we both became more involved with the local cycling community and grew more passionate for the sport.”

So, they’re not Lisa and John Cutter – where does the name come from? “When we were trying to come up with a name we chose Cutters from the 1979 movie Breaking Away. We thought the cultures of the movie paralleled us and our town’s. Locals growing up in an industrial college town. It’s really such a great and inspirational movie, a must see,” she told us. (Anyone seen the movie? That’s a pretty strong recommendation!)

They were the first bike shop to come into the South Side and they picked a great time! They opened around the same time that Steel Stacks and ArtsQuest were gaining steam, and Cutters got a prime spot! They practically have a curbside seat to VegFest and the Greenway, and they’ve done well with it.

“We have come to know many people in the local cycling community and were fortunate to have a lot of support from them, our friends and family when we opened. We have developed a large regular customer base that  continuously refers  other people to us for all of their cycling needs. We take pride in being a family and rider owned and operated shop. As a women it was very important to me to have women and families feel comfortable when they come to our store. I want to be sure they are given the time and attention they deserve and are never afraid to ask questions or for help,” Lisa said. “We try to get out on group rides and do local events to promote the sport and local riding  community whenever we can. We love to ride bikes and want to see more people enjoy the same great experiences in riding as we have. It’s nice to see how many people enjoy shopping at a local business and realize how much more personal attention and experience you get from doing so.”

Next time you and your bike need something, give Cutters a visit!