A little background about the Summerfest… Back in 2012, we launched the Bethlehem Artwalk as a one-day event to support the Cultivate Dance Festival, which drew contemporary dancers from across the globe for a one-week intensive. Artists and musicians vended their wares along Main Street, and the event was well received.
Fueled by its success, event organizers continued to expand activities for both events each summer. In 2014, we organized a fundraising event at the Colonial Theatre for a fellow artist lost too young. We raised thousands for the loved ones he left behind through donations, performances, and a silent art auction.
Saddened by the loss of the dance festival in 2016, we brought parades back to town in 2017 after a 30+ year absence. In 2018, we joined forces with the Old Home Days, rebranded the collective to Summerfest, and brought the ReMax hot-air balloon to town for tethered rides at the Bethlehem Country Club. We also formalized our efforts and launched a nonprofit called Bethlehem Events.
Little did we know at our 2019 event that it would be our last for four years. When COVID hit, it brought everything to a grinding halt just as we’d begun to gain momentum. We patiently waited until we could gather again, and we finally brought Christmas in Bethlehem back in December 2022. We were humbled by the community’s response and brought Summerfest back in 2023.
Now we’ve begun preparations to celebrate the town’s 250th birthday in August 2024. Our mission to enliven arts, commerce, and community remains as it has always been from the very beginning.