The Downtown Bethlehem Association will host the first ever Main Street New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2013.
The open-air celebration in the Historic Downtown will feature live music with the Trouble City All-Stars and the Lehigh Valley Harmonizers, a cash bar, food vendors and a free champagne toast at midnight.
“Our board of directors wanted to pull this together because there is nothing that happens anymore at midnight in Bethlehem,” said Samantha Schwartz, manager of the DBA.
Until 2010, Bethlehem had First Night, a dry celebration staged at a number of venues that never really succeeded financially.
To ring in 2011, ArtsQuest hosted Countdown in Downtown in the traditional Christkindlmarkt tents under the Hill-to-Hill Bridge. It featured live music and comedy, but was really more of a preview of what was to come at SteelStacks.
When SteelStacks opened in South Bethlehem, the ArtsQuest New Year’s celebration to ring in 2012, including the traditional Peeps drop, moved south with it
This year, there won’t even be a midnight Peeps drop. The ArtsQuest New Year’s festivities, which also include a fireworks display, are scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
The Main Street New Year’s Eve celebration will begin at 9 p.m. and end at 12:30 a.m. Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic between Broad Street and Walnut Street to accommodate revelers.
The celebration is being sponsored by Liberty Property Trust. The hope is that this inaugural New Year's party will draw 500 revelers downtown, Schwartz said.
There will be no cost to join the party and no reservations are required, Schwartz said.