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8.11.2015

Musikfest 2015!

We will take a break from the "and beyond" category today and take a look at the greatest annual event in the state, Musikfest, in the town of Bethlehem. For starters, Bethlehem is a town like no other. Having lived on both sides of the state, and currently living in the western half of the state, every year we make our way to Musikfest. For this festival, the city turns into one giant party for just over a week. With fourteen stages spread out across the city's tremendously preserved areas that represent Colonial, 19th to mid 20th century industrial history, and more. This city is one of a kind, and my favorite in the state. It is tough to find a place with perfectly preserved areas that represent every era of our nation's history. 

Below you can see the Liederplatz stage in the historic Sun Inn Courtyard, a place that has lodged people like George Washington, Sam Adams, John Hancock, and many others. 
The beautiful Sun Inn dates back to 1758 and is masterfully restored and preserved. A true national treasure.
Bethlehem's historic Main Street gets shut down and becomes a lively place with entertainers strolling up and down the street.
The city makes tremendous strides every time I come back to visit. Now they have the blacksmith shop fully operational in the Colonial Industrial Quarter. The restored buildings that make up the industrial quarter are absolutely stunning and an area that accurately shows the way the city looked in the colonial era as a settlement by the Moravians.
 One of the greatest things about the festival is the food. Here you can see the Hogar Crea organization making their famous grilled shish kabobs for their great cause. 
Yum! Other favorites include the Awww Shucks Roasted Corn, Theo's Gyro's, Bethlehem Dairy Store apple dumplings, and belgian waffles, and so much more. The way the local businesses come together for this community event is really pretty cool. 
 14 stages are spread across the city, with 11 of them having completely free events. 
 Here you can see the Central Moravian Church, the home of Moravian worship since 1803. 
 The midway between Handwerkplatz and Volksplatz. Many of the stages are named as a nod to the Pennsylvania German roots of the region, with "platz" being German for "place." 
 Festplatz! The largest tented venue at Musikfest and home to a large dance floor. Music of many genres is played over the time at the festival, but most often the stage is home to polka shows.
 Looking over the festival midway towards the Hill-to-Hill Bridge and Hotel Bethlehem, two great examples of 1920s architecture.
 Plaza Tropical
 The Festplatz midway
 Back to Volksplatz.
We only visited the Northside festivities this year because we only had one night to visit. The Southside has the preserved former steel mills from the Bethlehem Steel complex, transformed into a center for entertainment with multiple performance areas, the large SteelStacks center, and more. I highly recommend visiting Musikfest if you have not already. Try to go multiple nights if you can. This is my favorite event in the entire state. The 2015 festival runs until this Sunday, August 16th.
The Musikfest festival is spread out all over Bethlehem, but here is a map to give you a general idea of location. The Colonial Industrial Quarter is a great midpoint within the festival area.

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