Bethlehem as “Christmas City USA”
In 1937, The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce started a nationwide letter writing effort to 2,500 Chambers of Commerce asking each of them to notify their local newspapers of the campaign to make Bethlehem, Pennsylvania “the Christmas City”. It was suggested that people throughout the country send their Christmas cards to Bethlehem to receive the “Christmas City” cancellation. Most of the Chambers participated and more than 185,000 pieces of mail inundated the Bethlehem Post Office.
In the 1960’s the Citizens Christmas City Committee (of the Chamber of Commerce) was formed to help dignify the look of Christmas in the City of Bethlehem while at the same time absorbing a share of the costs of bringing Christmas to the public. The Committee continues to raise the funds every year to purchase over 800 trees that are lit during the Christmas season.
To help support the Christmas in the Christmas City, we are selling a limited amount of personalized Christmas ornaments. All proceeds from the sale of these ornaments go to purchase the trees that are hung throughout Bethlehem during the Christmas season.
The ornaments will be hung on the Christmas City Trellis located by the Bethlehem Public Library on Payrow Plaza. We have three different ornament options, all made of stainless steel. Every ornament has “2018 Christmas City” inscribed on the surface and is allowed two personalized lines of 20 characters each. Such as:
Merry Christmas! (16 characters)
The Millers (11 characters)
The Bethlehem Star - $25
Central Moravian Church’s Belfry (flat) - $50
Central Moravian Church’s Belfry – (three sided) - $100
Once the holidays are over, in late January, your ornament will be taken down from the Trellis and stored in the Bethlehem Chamber office at 74 West Broad St, Suite 240. You can pick them up at the office or we can send it to you (for an additional shipping and handling fee.)
To order your ornaments, please click here.
The Christmas Committee also holds these events below:
Bethlehem’s Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, Friday, November 23, 2018 at 4:30pm
Payrow Plaza, 10 East Church St, Bethlehem
Join Mayor Bob Donchez, Bethlehem Chief of Police Mark DiLuzio and thousands of Bethlehem residents and visitors as they officially ring in the start of the Bethlehem Christmas season. The ceremony – which is held outside on Payrow Plaza at the steps of the Bethlehem Public Library - is comprised of a mixture of religious, secular, conventional and modern Christmas music with a dab of traditional Moravian customs. Luke DiGiacinto, The Bethlehem Catholic High School Band, The Swing Time Dolls, Orbital Drums, The Holmes Family and Cunningham and Associates are performing. Get there early to get free cookies and hot chocolate… and before the ceremony ends, look out for a special visitor from the North Pole!
The 53rd Annual Community Advent Breakfast – Saturday December 1, 2018 8:30am
Moravian Village, 526 Wood St, Bethlehem
This non-denominational Bethlehem tradition features the Moravian trombone Choir, a beeswax candle lighting ceremony, performances by the Moravian Men’s singers and the Broughal South Side singers along with a generous, served-breakfast. Alan Jennings, Executive Director of Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley will be the speaker at this event. Tickets are in advance only - $15 adult, $9 - 16 and under. For tickets email Lynn Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-739-1510.