Bethlehem's downtown merchants on Wednesday announced a catchy promotion that combines the city's Christmas and musical identities.
At least 40 downtown merchants have planned to decorate their windows using a theme from the traditional holiday favorite, ''The Twelve Days Christmas.'' Each has picked one of the day's gifts described in the song upon which to build their display.
Granny McCarthy's Tea Room, for example, will build a display around a ''partridge in a pear tea,'' a play on words from the song, said Lucy Lennon, president of the Downtown Bethlehem Association, which has organized the promotion. The Starfish Brasserie is painting ''five golden rings'' in its window.
Some merchants are planning to perform their Day of Christmas ''live'' on Saturday — a planned downtown Christmas shopping preview — or on Nov. 18, Lennon said. Rumor has it that Mayor John Callahan has a permit request on his desk from one merchant hoping to bring a cow downtown for ''eight maids a milking.''
No word on whether anyone has made a similar permit request for ''seven swans a swimming'' or ''six geese a laying,'' lest they run afoul of the city's recent ban on chickens and other birds outside of agricultural zones.
On the city's South Side, a similar window promotion which we mentioned a few days ago, is planned around the theme of rock 'n' roll albums and songs such as Prince's ''Purple Rain,'' Elvis Presley's ''Blue Christmas,'' and the Eagles' ''Hotel California.'' Lennon, the owner of the Dancing Fish restaurant, is planning to develop her display around the Beatles' ''Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.''
South Side merchants are calling the coordinated window displays the ''Miracle on 3rd and 4th Streets'' and plan to unveil them on Nov. 17. At least 20 South Side shops are participating with help from Lehigh University and Northampton Community College, Lennon said.
"Shopping downtown Bethlehem is an authentic experience,'' Mayor John Callahan said.