The holidays are a special time of year for the Lehigh Valley area, as residents and visitors from all over join together to take part in the variety of events that can be found across the region.  In fact, Bethlehem is affectionately known as the “City of Festivals”, with over ten major festivals and over 150 mini-festivals or community events throughout the year!

Each year gets a little bit better and this year is no exception!  The Downtown Bethlehem Association is happy to announce yet another Christmas event they’ve added to the holiday lineup ~ The Holiday Cocktail Trail!  Here’s a look at the Christmas “festivals” that take place in Bethlehem.

Doors and Windows of Bethlehem – November 17 through New Year’s, 2012

Start the holiday season off right by treating your eyes to the decorated doors and windows of many Downtown Bethlehem businesses!  The Historic District will impress with their doors, while the Southside delights with their windows, each giving you the chance to vote once on your Favorite Door for a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to all of the Doors of Bethlehem Participants!  The Business who wins “Best Door of Bethlehem” will receive a $1,500 advertising package for their business!

Holiday Cocktail Trail – November 17, 12-6pm, 2012

This is a brand new event this year!  Sample a fabulous Christmas inspired cocktail from a variety of Bethlehem businesses on the trail.  When you purchase your “passport”, you will also receive 1 free Christkindlmarkt ticket!!  Vote on your favorite cocktail to enter to win a $100 shopping spree downtown.  Another bonus — part of the proceeds will benefit hurricane Sandy victims!

5 Ways to Keep Your Holidays Safe and Happy

Bethlehem Christmas Open House – November 17, 11am-8pm, 2012

Held in the Historic and Southside Arts District.

Bethlehem Christmas Tree Lighting – November 23, 4:30pm, 2012

Held in Payrow Plaza.

Christmas City Village – Starts November 23 through December 23, 11am-8pm on weekends (Friday-Sunday), 2012

Christmas City Village is held at the Sun Inn Courtyard, The Historic Smithy (next to the Hotel Bethlehem) and features 20 wooden huts where vendors sell a variety of holiday crafts and gifts, all of which would make perfect gifts for family and friends.  You’ll also enjoy traditional German fare, or hot mulled wine, as you meander through a market that boasts no admission fee!

Live Advent Calandar – December 1 through Christmas Eve, 5:30pm, 2012

Held at the Goundie House in the Historic District, this is the only event of its kind in the country!  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!

Southside Holiday First Friday – Starts December 7, 6-10pm, 2012

First Friday is a monthly celebration of arts and culture in the Southside Shopping and Arts District of Bethlehem.  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.

15th Annual Luminaria Night – December 8, 5pm, 2012

Held in the Southside and Historic Arts Districts.

Coca Cola Holiday Caravan – December 22, 12pm-9pm, 2012

Held in the Historic District.

New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31, 9:30pm-12am, 2012-2013

Held in the Historic District.

For all the details and more information on each of these Christmas events, visit the Downtown Bethlehem Association’s website.  Happy holidays everyone!

What holiday events do you look forward to each year in the Lehigh Valley?

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