Thursday, November 15, 2007

New light design unveiled for Southside Bethlehem

Most people know that Bethlehem's historic downtown as the Christmas City -- horse-drawn carriage rides, the Live Christmas Pageant, Christkindlmarkt and candlelit tours past some of the city's oldest Moravian buildings.

But community leaders are about to add a burst of that festive spirit in the Christmas City's downtown south of the Lehigh River.

Starbursts, that is.

Holiday lights will wrap around the streetlights along Third and New streets. The shape shape mimics a star.

''This will draw more attention to the South Side, which sometimes gets overlooked this [holiday] season,'' Mayor John Callahan said at a news conference Wednesday.

The lights are the result of a $10,000 partnership of Lehigh University, Northampton Community College and the Citizens Christmas City Committee, which comes under the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The new lights are the latest decoration that community leaders have added to Bethlehem since it was dubbed Christmas City USA 70 years ago.

The large tree for Payrow Plaza, 10 E. Church St., will have 3,500 lights. In addition, 900 pine trees are being hung around the city's downtown. There are 20 other large trees secured in places such as the Hill-to-Hill bridge. Large advent candles will be set up.

Some of the cost is supported by the Christmas Seal. First introduced in 1964, it features an image picked from an art competition. This year's theme is the Live Bethlehem Christmas Pageant which depicts the biblical Mary and Joseph.

The seal was designed by Sandra J. Hager of Phillipsburg. Seal packets are available at the Bethlehem Area Public Library, City Hall, Westgate Mall and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.


Anonymous said...

I think the extra lights are decorative overkill. Multi-colored lights on trees would have been sufficient. For such a beautiful city, Bethelehem officials are aesthetically-challenged! Don't get me started on the ugly blue "Follow the Star" signs...

Anonymous said...

Much of the things that appear in Bethlehem come from various different organizations who, until recently didn't really talk to one another (hence the zillion different tag lines, and ugly blue signs). That said, I was over on the Southside last night, and I think the bursts are rather neat. There really aren't many of them, but I wouldn't mind seeing more of them in the future.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of hearing about how overlooked Southside is. Try getting any visibility more than a block or two from Main St. Lots of luck!

V said...

Anon Dec 13 -

I agree with you to an extent. I am tired of hearing about how more attention needs to be drawn to the Southside. Southside's First Friday phenomenon last time I checked has been a success. And each time I have been there for other events it has been crowded and people were spending money. I don't think the Southside is the redheaded stepchild - on the contrary I think it has done much better than other similar business districts in the area. Plus they should reap the benefits of closer proximity to the casino once it's completed.