Tourism: Musikfest and the "Christmas City"

    Bethlehem has also learned to rely on one of Pennsylvania’s top industries - tourism.  For many years it has played up its image as "the Christmas City," offering extensive holiday concerts, performances, Christkindlmarkt and shopping.  Many people come to visit Christkindlmarkt and buy Moravian glass stars to hang on their trees.  This holiday spirit is emphasized year round by a 95 foot star lit by electric lights atop South Mountain ("the Star of Bethlehem"), donated to the community by the wife of Eugene Grace. (www)  Bethlehem also attracts tourists each August for its annual Musikfest.  Stemming from the idea of a local attorney, it is a ten-day long celebration of culture, featuring musical performances and ethnic foods. (www)  It currently hosts over 300 artists and groups who give over 650 live musical performances, ranging from Bach to polkas to rock.  Taking up dozens of blocks in the center of the city, it is sponsored by local businesses and individuals and is organized by volunteers.(www)  Showing the extent of area support, most of the performances are free, drawing thousands to the same buildings and squares which the Moravians inhabited two centuries earlier.


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