I’m a huge fan of Bethlehem; the city really embraces the festival spirit, and it gives visitors to Lehigh Valley a great opportunity to experience the culture and charisma of the town.

Last year, I attended my first Celtic Classic. After experiencing a few rounds of Musikfest, I knew a bit about how Bethlehem ‘Fests operate, but that’s as far as my expectations took me.

For many, this will be, by far, the highest concentration of kilts you’ll see this side of the Atlantic. Every shade of tartan pattern imaginable is donned by visitors and competitors alike. But as authentic as the attire might be, I found myself appreciating my warm jeans every time a stiff breeze blew by.

We made a point to stop and try some haggis, which wasn’t as outlandish a meal as I had anticipated. I dare say it was delicious! For fans of scrapple (I admit it) and sausage, you can expect a taste somewhere between the Pennsylvania-Dutch breakfast meat and chorizo with gravy. We had our haggis served in bowls, not in the natural casing, so those with a less adventurous stomach could have even pretended it was meatloaf!

We grabbed a few brews from the available taps and watched burly men in kilts hurl cabers and weights astounding distances. If you’re into athletic events that stray from the norm, you’ll definitely want to check these out.

The music was great, the crowds were bustling and the mood was contagious. It’s a great event for people of all ages, especially if you’re looking for something unusual. I can’t wait to return this year!

This post was written by guest author Bill Keller of Muhlenberg College in Allentown