For more information: http://www.artsquest.org/festivals/oktoberfest/brewersvillage.php
When people hear Peeps, they generally think of Easter.
Matthew Pye, Just Born’s vice president of corporate affairs, said that’s why large retailers mostly carry the marshmallow treats through the early spring.
But with a candy gold mine in the winter holiday season sitting untapped after 60 years in business, the Bethlehem-based company has made a media push this year to make Peeps a Christmas treat, too.
Pye said the “Santa Hop” campaign has put a large focus on social media and commercial airtime since Nov. 25. One of Just Born’s newest additions, candy cane-flavored marshmallow chicks dipped in chocolate, has taken center stage in the campaign, he said.
New York City may have Carly Rae Jepsen and its huge crystal ball, but Bethlehem has music from the indie rock band for kids Starfish and will drop a 75-pound light-up Peep to ring in the New Year.
“We’re really trying to create a Dick Clark of Bethlehem event,” Matt Pye, vice president of corporate affairs at Just Born, said Sunday, the first day of the city’s annual Peeps Fest.
Now in its fourth year, the annual family-friendly festival is put on by ArtsQuest and candy-maker Just Born. More than 8,000 people attended the festival last year.
This year, Peeps Fest has more interactive activities and the duration of the festival has been condensed from four to two days.
Musikfest was preparing to hit a high note last year, introducing the 10-day party of music and food to south Bethlehem at its ambitious new SteelStacks campus.
But rain doused the festival for six days, flooding the Monocacy Creek and closing down nearby venues on the north side. The festival lost $750,000 — triple the amount of its worst year since it began 28 years ago.
The deficit came in the very year its nonprofit organizer, ArtsQuest, could least afford it because of the uncertainty that came with launching its performing arts center at SteelStacks. The loss from Musikfest, which provides half the nonprofit’s revenue, pushed ArtsQuest into a $1 million operating loss, more than 5 percent of its budget.
So, as Musikfest opens Friday evening, its financial performance is stealing some of the spotlight.
An artist who canceled out a previous show at Musikfest is getting a second chance at the festival.
Sheryl Crow, who had the hits “Leaving Las Vegas,” “All I Want to Do,” “Strong Enough” and “If It Makes You Happy,” but canceled a sold-out Musikfest show at the last moment in 2001, will play at the festival’s main Steel Stage at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 10, it was announced Friday.
Tickets, at $30 and $40, go on sale to ArtsQuest members at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 and to the public at 10 a.m. March 2 at http://www.musikfest.org or by calling 610-332-3378.
The City of Bethlehem has figured out that the arts can bring economic development. Many projects have already sprung up in Bethlehem that are having a major impact on the city. This project is another example of adaptive re-use and the benefits of involving the arts.
The former St. Stanislaus Church in south Bethlehem could provide a little divine inspiration for artists attracted to the growing SteelStacks campus.
The rectory would be razed to make room for 36 affordable apartments targeting artists as tenants under a proposal by Housing Development Corp. MidAtlantic of Lancaster. The church, founded in 1906 to mainly serve Polish Catholics in the neighborhood, would be reused as a gallery and space for performances or other events…
The very successful Sands Casino in Bethlehem is adding more attractions to lure gamblers. A new 300-room hotel is opening by Memorial Day which will allow gamblers to make the Sands an overnight destination. In addition, the casino is opening a 35-store mall on the property which will give gamblers (and non-gamblers) a shopping and dining diversion. The mall has a proposed soft opening date of November 1st. Grand opening is scheduled for President’s Day weekend, in February of 2012.
Another project in the works is a conference facility that could accommodate 2,500 people. This would allow the casino to compete in the lucrative convention and trade show market. The conference facility could become a reality by the end of the year. There are eight other buildings on the site which the casino hopes to develop and a residential area is also being considered.
Adjacent to the casino is the Steel Stacks complex and ArtsQuest Center. The ten-acre entertainment area includes a concert pavilion, farmers market, antique market for starters.
The economic impact of these projects will benefit Bethlehem for generations to come.