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The Christmas City turns on the charm

You’ll find plenty of Nativity scenes in Bethlehem.


If you want to ride in Victorian style, try a horse-drawn carriage ride through Bethlehem’s historic South Side.

Christmas is alive and well in Christmas City USA, an hour or so’s jaunt from Wilkes-Barre via the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces are lighting up the skyline of south Bethlehem with the colors of the holidays. SteelStacks has premiered a holiday music and light show that is shown nightly at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 through Dec. 31 on the blast furnaces.

The popular holiday market Christkindlmarkt has moved to a new location.

Still nestled in a huge heated tent, but now in the PNC Plaza, the market offers more than 80 booths of crafts, foods, music and, of course, Santa Claus. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 18. Admission is $8 for a daily pass and $15 for a season pass.

SteelStacks also lights its two fire sculptures Wednesday through Sunday during the holiday season. The 70-foot-long “Bridge” fire sculpture is lighted on the hour from 5-9 p.m., and the “Alchemy” fire sculpture is lit continuously from 5-9 p.m.

The streets of the SteelStacks campus will be decked in 1930s-era decorations and holiday lights. Inside the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema, “Bethlehem, The Christmas City” is screened daily.

The Mike and Ike Bistro in the ArtsQuest Center is offering a special holiday menu.

Free parking for the various attractions is available at the parking lots on First Street.

For more information on the Christmas season in the Bethlehem area, call 610-332-1300 or visit http://www.artsquest.org.

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