Bethlehem

The Christmas City of Bethlehem straddles the counties of Lehigh and Northampton.It is part of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area.

Bethlehemis the second most populous city in the state, with a vibrant Victorian andcolonial history. Approximately 75,000 people call this eastern Pennsylvaniacity home, and live in one of its three main boroughs: North Bethlehem, SouthBethlehem, and West Bethlehem.

Thecity earned its moniker because it was founded on Christmas Eve by theMoravians in 1741. It began as a missionary community and occupied 500acres. Inhewn log structures, Moravians ministered to indigenous Lenape Indians.

Today, Bethlehem is home to a thriving arts and culture scene. It founded a FineArts Commission in 1963 and hosts a charter high school for the performing arts.Godfrey Daniels is a legendary live listening room, known throughout the worldfor keeping folk music alive.

Quick Facts

  • Bethlehem is served by the BethlehemArea School District, which operates two high schools, four middle schools, and16 elementary schools. Other educational institutions found within the areainclude Moravian Academy, Northampton Community College, and the top-tierresearch university, Lehigh University.
  • The city earned its second nickname,“Steel City,” during the late 19th century, when the Bethlehem Steel Corp.transformed Bethlehem into a center for trade and heavy industry.
  • Bethlehem’s main boroughs areunique: North Bethlehem embodies the city’s history, with plenty of locallyowned restaurants and boutiques. South Bethlehem is home to art spaces andrestaurants housed in former warehouses. West Bethlehem is known for tree-linedstreets and Craftsman homes.

Thecity loves its special annual events: Musikfest gathers the world’s biggest popartists; Christkindlmarkt is a Christmas-themed festival that has been going onfor more than 20 years; and the Celtic Classic celebrates everything Scottish,from food to fun and games. Bethlehem is also renowned for its BlueberryFestival, Harvest Festival, and Blast Furnace Blues Festival.

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