A few of us from Discover Lehigh Valley recently went on a hardhat tour of the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. It was impressive, to say the very least. The massive 4-story performing arts center will be the anchor for the SteelStacks campus, bringing musical and cinematic performances to Lehigh Valley every day of the year.

The list of functions that this space will allow is incredible. Aside from the musical, cinematic and theatrical elements (many of which are FREE), the ArtsQuest Center will offer an Alehouse Cinema (yes, you can enjoy cocktails, beer or wine while watching a movie in stadium style seating), al fresco dining, areas for business/conference meetings and free space for local non profits and community groups to offer programming.

The main stage for Musikfest will also be located on these grounds, as well as weekly farmer's, arts and antiques markets and free family-fun programming. From the Sands Deck, you'll have the best view in the Valley for fireworks shows. There is literally something for everyone, and I for one can hardly wait until the Grand Opening on May 1. It will be a local, regional and even a national destination for music and arts lovers.

From the George Washington Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge (You'll notice the steel at ArtsQuest Center is the same color) and practically everything in between, Bethlehem Steel has made it's mark on America and the globe. The blast furnaces that produced the steel serve as an almost eerie backdrop to the new structure, but it makes for one heck of a view.

Bethlehem will always be remembered for its steel, but now it has assumed a new identity, with arts and music gaining more ground every year.