Philadelphia Eagles legend and Bethlehem native Chuck Bednarik will be among two dozen notable people who will be inducted today into the inaugural class of the Lehigh County Hall of Fame, as the county celebrates its bicentennial at the Allentown Fairgrounds.
The free Community Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. in the Agri-Plex Building and end at 8 p.m. with a fireworks display.
Bednarik is one of three people with connections to the Christmas City to be honored during today’s festivities.
Raymond “Chip” Mason, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Legg Mason financial firm, and Billy Packer, who for 35 years was a color television analyst for college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, calling the Final Four games from 1975 until 2008.
Though Bednarik was raised in South Bethlehem in Northampton County, he currently lives in Coopersburg, allowing Lehigh County to also claim him.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Bednarik was known as the last “60-minute man” in the NFL, playing on both offense and defense. "Concrete Charlie" starred on the last Eagles team to win a league championship in 1960.
A bison will visit from the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Historical re-enactors will impersonate significant Lehigh County figures. And area mascots, such as the IronPigs "Ferrous," will be on hand.
Here is the schedule of events, including the public sessions by seven Hall of Fame honorees:
Main Coca-Cola Stage
- 11 a.m. Parkland High School Jazz Ensemble
- 11:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony – Don Cunningham, Lehigh County Executive and the Bethlehem Rotary Morganaires
- 12:30 p.m. Happy Boombardiers
- 1:15 p.m. Hall of Fame Honoree Carson Kressley will host a session, "From Lowhill to Hollywood.”
- 2 p.m. Hall of Fame honoree Dave Zinczenko will lead a session on nutrition and fitness based on his series Eat This Not That.
- 2:45 p.m. Hall of Fame honoree and NFL heavyweight Andre Reed will host a session on football and philanthropy, featuring his famous “Over the Middle” hot sauce. For every bottle sold, a donation is made to “Kids Escaping Drugs,” a local Buffalo charity.
- 3:30 p.m. Hall of Fame honoree and Golf Channel personality Rich Lerner will share his life’s experiences in a session entitled “From Dorneyville to Pebble Beach.”
- 4:15 p.m. O’Grady Irish Step Dancers
- 5 p.m. William Allen High School Chorale Group
- 5:30 p.m. Name the Bison Contest – Winner Announced
- 6 p.m. Hall of Fame Ceremony. All but four of the 24 inductees or their family members are expected to appear to accept their awards.
- 12:30 p.m. Hall of Fame honoree Charles Bierbauer, a former White House Correspondent, will host a session on the media and politics.
- 1:15 p.m. Hall of Fame honoree and WNBA star Michelle Marciniak will host a session on entrepreneurship in business and sports.
- 1:45 p.m. Dina Hall featuring Mike Fritz on guitar
- 2:30 p.m. Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer
- 3:15 p.m. Jake Kaligis
- 4 p.m. BC Combo
- 4:45 p.m. Hall of Fame Honoree John Grogan, author of "Marley and Me," will do a book reading and signing.
- 12:30 p.m. Dave Fry
- 1:30 p.m. Balloons the Clown
- 2:15 p.m. Yippee Puppet Show
- 3 p.m. Balloons the Clown
- 3:45 p.m. Excel Dance Company
“This is going to be a great day for the community to celebrate the history and people of Lehigh County," Lehigh County Executive and Bicentennial Committee Chair Don Cunningham said in a prepared release.
A 300-page, four-color coffee table book, "Lehigh County: A Bicentennial Look Back at an American Community," by local historian Frank Whelan will be on sale at the celebration.
There also will be more than 80 interactive and educational booths presented by community, ethnic and historical organizations.