Each July, Burnside Plantation transforms into the home of the Blueberry Festival. Presented by Historic Bethlehem Museum & Sites, this event celebrates one of the summer's tastiest treats.
As you enter the grounds of Burnside Plantation, you are taken back in time. The original structures still stand, and guided tours are available throughout the day. View the wagon shop, barns, and the home that once belonged to James Burnside in the Moravian times. Be sure to take a look in the gardens, which are shared plots in the community. Showcased on the National Register of Historic Places, Burnside Plantation has been preserved over the years.
The festival itself offers plenty of activities to enjoy- and even more tasty treats to savor. Two stages with a variety of entertainment types are featured throughout the day. On Saturday afternoon, I was lucky enough to catch performances by the O'Grady Quinlan Irish Dancers on the Meadow Stage, and This Way to Egress on the West Field Stage.
In addition to entertainment on the two stages, you can also catch a number of strolling performers throughout the grounds. Culinary demonstrations are available, as well as the infamous blueberry pie eating contest.
For the kids, you'll find storytelling under the shade of trees, mural painting, crafts, and colonial games. Visit the petting zoo to learn about some of the animals on site, or take a pony ride around the meadow. On Sunday, enjoy demonstrations by the Lehigh Valley Zoo.
I picked up a fresh-squeezed lemonade from one of the many food & drink stands and enjoyed wandering through the festival grounds, admiring the many crafts that were on display.
But the real treats were found in the dessert tent. From blueberry pies, to ice cream, to strudels, and more, there's something to satisfy any sweet tooth. Pies and strudels can be enjoyed by the slice, or in full form to take home. To make your snack even better, add a scoop of ice cream!
For those of age, there's also a tasting tent available to help quench your thirst. The Blueberry Brewery features beverages provided by Fegley's Brew Works (the Blueberry Belch, of course), Shangy's, and the Colony Meadery. Use your tasting badge to sample a number of varieties. When you find your favorite, enjoy a full serving while taking in the entertainment on the adjacent West Field Stage.
The 2015 Blueberry Festival continues through Sunday, July 19. Plenty of parking is available on site, as well as in the Martin Tower lots. Admission is $8 for regular tickets; $4 for children ages 4 - 12; $20 for Blueberry Brewery tasting tickets. All varieties of tickets are available at the entrance to the festival.