Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites presents ‘The Sweetest Festival of the Summer!’ 2014 Blueberry Festival

Jun 30th, 2014Press Release from Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites

Blueberry Festival 2012 (22)Bethlehem, PA – Join Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites July 18, 19 and 20 for a weekend of live music, history, crafts, and delicious blueberry savories  at the annual Blueberry Festival at Burnside Plantation, our 6.5 acre Farm in the City! They don’t call it the sweetest festival of the summer for nothing; blueberry pies, strudel, coffee cake, and ice cream, and more will be for sale in the popular dessert tent as well as locally crafted beers, mead, and wine in the newly expanded tasting tent.

Experience a tour of James Burnside’s colonial home and barns, summer kitchen and stroll through the colonial gardens.  Young and old can catch the hoop in a rousing game of graces, tackle Jacob’s ladder, and learn to play a variety of other colonial games.  Kids can enjoy crafts and colonial costume dress-up, make a bluebird house and of course, the blueberry pie-eating contest for all ages. The annual Blueberry Festival is a great special summer treat for the whole family!

The festival includes more than 30 crafters, including wood carvings, pottery, jewelry, homemade blueberry specialties, and festival tee-shirts available in the Burnside Plantation Museum store located in the corn crib.  Also patrons will enjoy colonial brewing demonstrations by award-winning local amateur brewer, Chris Bowen, of Hammersmith Ales.

Blueberry Festival 2012 (5)Guides in period dress will be available for tours of the James Burnside colonial house, high horse-power wheel, barns and garden. The tours share the stories behind colonial farming and James Burnside, a Moravian missionary and county representative. Watch colonial cooking in action in the Summer Kitchen with the Bethlehem Foodways group who will be cooking and the Foodways group will be doing a dairy theme for Blueberry.  Visitors will be able to get hands-on in making butter (straining milk, skimming cream, and churning the butter) and ice cream. The ladies will also demonstrate how to make cheese in addition to cooking and baking dairy based dishes including cheeses and puddings.

Live music and local group performances will be sure to offer something for everyone in the family. A number of artists, including CoraCree, a band that plays roots music from the heart, melding a mixture of Celtic, old time, European and original music with an old and contemporary sound will perform throughout the entire weekend. In 2013, CoraCree released their debut album, ‘Dancing in the Sky’, which will be available for sale at the concert. Other performers include the Billy Bauer Duo, Roots of Rhythm, Twin Rivers Violin Ensemble and many more!

Festival hours are 10am to 7pm on Saturday July 19 and 10am to 6pm Sunday, July 20, 2014. Burnside Plantation is located at 1461 Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem. Parking is available in the shadow of Martin Tower, entrance off 8th Avenue. Tickets are available at the gate for $8 per adult for the festival, $15 per adult for the festival and tasting tent, $7 for senior festival admission, $14 for seniors to have access to the festival and the tasting tent, and children (6-16) are $4, children under the age of 3 are free.

Blueberry Festival 2012 (1)This year’s tasting tent will feature wine from Pinnacle Ridge, craft beer by Bethlehem Brewworks;  Funk Brewing Company;  Frecon’s Cidery; and The Other Farm Brewing Company and homebrew produced by  Tim and Honeree Kerrigan.  New this year, visitors will learn about Mead from Greg Heller LeBellee and Mike Manning of Colony Meader along with the opportunity to taste   Frozen Digits (blueberry melomel), Straight, No Chaser (traditional mead), Pikwant Field (Strawberry-Kiwi melomel), Towbeedog (hopped mead) and Mo-Me-Doh (lime and mint mead). Only adults aged 21 or older will be admitted to the tasting tent.

 Pre-sale tickets are available at a discounted rate of $5 when purchased with the Pass Into History, available at all of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ gift shops. Credit cards are accepted throughout the festival.

For those who are not members of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, we are offering a special incentive that allows families to support historic preservation while enjoying this annual event.  Subscribe to a new family membership at the Blueberry Festival Admissions Gate and get two adult admissions to the Blueberry Festival free – a $16.00 savings.  Subscribe to a new individual membership and get one adult admission to Blueberry Festival free – an $8.00 savings.

 In order to kick off the festival weekend, on Friday, July 18 from 5:30pm-8:00pm, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites will host the 2014 Pints from the Past craft beer, wine, mead and food pairing event. This special ticketed event will feature a brewing demonstration by colonial brewer Chris Bowen of Hammersmith Ales and sample three of his delicious brews:  the Thomas Morris Philadelphia Porter, Zum Uerige Alt, and Goundie’s Finest Blueberry Cider.

 Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Gregg Heller La Belle and Mike Manning of The Colony Meadery, learn all about mead and taste his delicious creations! Especially for this event, The Colony Meadery has made a ginger mead infused with lemons and blueberries through a homemade “Randall,” a device that pushes mead through ingredients to absorb flavor. South Italy Imports will be providing wine pairings, and food pairings will be provided by The Bayou, Hotel Bethlehem, and Molinari’s, all restaurants local to Bethlehem.

 The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Maggie Spike. “Maggie & Eric Gernerd are a husband and wife singer-songwriter duo from rural eastern Pennsylvania. Known for their “mixed bag” of folk originals, they are not an easy band to label. Both Maggie’s and Eric’s song writing styles combine folk/rock, jazz, acoustic pop, Celtic, psychedelic, reggae, Americana, and world rhythm influences. Their music takes you to a place where melody, rhythm, harmony, and insightful lyrics create a sound that is easily accessible and highly entertaining.” More information about the duo is available at MaggieSpike.com.

 Tickets for Pints from the Past are available online at HistoricBethlehem.org, or by calling Sarah Baer at 610-882-0450 ext. 10 to make a reservation. Tickets are limited and are available at $55 for members of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, or $65 for members of the general public.

 Questions about the festival can be answered by visiting HistoricBethlehem.org or by calling 1-800-360-TOUR. The Blueberry Festival is also a great way for families, individuals, teams, or groups to support historic preservation through volunteering. Anyone interested in volunteering may learn more by contacting Manager of Visitor Experience & Volunteers Melanie Depcinski at gro.mehelhtebcirotsihnull@iksnicpedm or 610-691-6055 ext. 16.


Historic Bethlehem is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. Historic Bethlehem is located in Eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia to the North and 2 hours west of New York City. Historic Bethlehem is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is distinguished as a National Historic Landmark District for Historic Moravian Bethlehem. For more information please call 610-691-6055 or visit www.historicbethlehem.org.

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