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  • The Annual Celtic Classic is the largest Festival in North America
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Christmas City

Gundie_doorIn 1937, The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce started a nationwide letter writing effort to 2,500 Chambers of Commerce asking each of them to notify their local newspapers of the campaign to make Bethlehem, Pennsylvania “the Christmas City”. It was suggested that people throughout the country send their Christmas cards to Bethlehem to receive the “Christmas City” cancellation. Most of the Chambers participated and more than 185,000 pieces of mail inundated the Bethlehem Post Office.

The “Citizens” Form a Committee

2007 Christmas SealIn the 1960’s the Citizens Christmas City Committee (of the Chamber of Commerce) was formed to help dignify the look of Christmas in the City of Bethlehem while at the same time absorbing a fair share of the costs of bringing Christmas to the public. The Committee continues to raise over $15,000 every year with efforts such as the Christmas City Seal to help purchase over 800 trees that will be lit during the Christmas season. Sparkling white lights adorn those trees in the Historic Moravian District and beautiful, LED colored lights have been placed in the trees in the SouthSide Arts District. For more about the Citizens Christmas City Committee and how you can help please go to: www.bethlehemtraditions.com.

Christmas City USA

Christmas CityIt literally takes a village to bring Christmas to Bethlehem’s residents and visitors. The merchants in both downtowns, the Downtown Bethlehem Association (DBA), work very hard to make it attractive for visitors to stroll through their shops. Doors are festively decorated, beautiful window displays beckon and there is even a “Live Advent Calendar” with a different merchant coming out of the door at the Goundie House on Main St. every night at 5:00pm with a “treat” for whoever is waiting at the door. For more information go to: www.bethlehemtraditions.com.

The Historic Bethlehem Partnership (HBP) has Christmas-themed walking tours, bus tours and carriage rides to give visitors a historic experience. The costumed guides will lead the way to their museums that are decorated as they would have been when the Moravians first walked through these streets in the 17 and 1800’s. Go to www.historicbethlehem.org for more details.

Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem is an arts and crafts market modeled after Europe’s open-air holiday marketplaces. Set under large heated tents, this marketplace has vendors that offer everything from the edible to the wearable and everything in between including Christmas ornaments, Nutcrackers and artwork. There is plenty of entertainment for the kids - St. Nick has been known to visit – and there is much to keep even the most seasoned of shoppers interested. This experience has become a favorite holiday tradition in Bethlehem and beyond. In 2006, Travel and Leisure magazine named it one of the top holiday markets in the entire world. For more about Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, please visit: www.artsquest.org/christkindlmarkt.

For more holiday events and happenings, please visit www.christmascity.org

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Christmas City SealChristmas in Bethlehem

Experience the magic of Christmas in historic Bethlehem! From the holiday charm of the Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem™ to rockin' New Year's Eve celebrations, there are more than 50 different holiday events and attractions to explore in Christmas City USA!