PRESS PHOTOS BY DENNIS GLEWAn overcast and unseasonably cool day attracts a large crowd to Historic Bethlehem’s 31st annual blueberry festival at Burnside Plantation including many young families.
Two Historic Bethlehem volunteers, Jack Kane, right, and Marissa Chamberlain, pack purchases in the gift shop, which was busy from the start of the day.
Ted Moyer, a tour guide for Historic Bethlehem, explains features of a reconstructed barn to visitors.
New to this year’s festival was an opportunity for kids to read to therapy dogs. Here Emma, a Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog, enjoys a story being read to her by one of the visiting children. The dogs were a big attraction for the young set.
A demonstration by students from Lehigh Valley Martial Arts attracts a large crowd.
Kaylee Santanello, teacher and conductor, leads the older students of El Sistema Lehigh Valley in performances of several pieces set for a string orchestra. El Sistema originated in Venezuela. Its graduates include Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Ivy Cruz, mother of two sons in the older ensemble of El Sistema Lehigh Valley, is joined at the concert by her parents, Nolin and Mary Cruz.
Guests entering the festival from the Bethlehem Steel property are welcomed by two down-home musicians, banjo player Jeff Ausfahl and his wife, Jen, on washboard.
Pony rides attract children small and large.
The goal of a pie-eating contest is to eat a single-serve blueberry pie faster than 11 other kids, everyone with hands behind their back. The result: a delicious mess. Here the winner of the youth division, Amanda Schilling, right, beams in victory, while the second-place finisher seated next to her, Chazne Greene, catches her breath.
Rocky? Maybe not, but Andrew is a champion in his own right, winning the adult blueberry pie-eating competition. As Andrew stands in victory, his competitors finish the last pieces of their pies.
Blueberries at Burnside
Festival marks 31st anniversary
If you like animals, music, gardening, competitions, martial arts, colonial history, or any and all things blueberry, you’d be bound to love Historic Bethlehem’s 31st annual Blueberry Festival at Burnside Plantation recently.
The jammed parking lot attested to the fact that the festival has many, many fans of all ages. For the young, pony rides were available and in a barn kids could read to therapy dogs.
Anyone interested in local colonial American history would have learned a great deal from Ted Moyer, a guide for Historic Bethlehem sites. Among other things he explained the high horse power wheel on display in a barn that was used by farmers before electricity became available.
Attendees could also watch young people demonstrating the karate and kung fu moves they had learned at the Lehigh Valley Martial Arts tent.
Another very popular attraction was the performance by El Sistema Lehigh Valley Orchestra. The young musicians in the orchestra get both music lessons and instruments free of charge through the collaboration of the Allentown Symphony Association with the Allentown School District. The players, who range in age from grade two through high school, were divided into two groups, with the younger members performing first.
Finally, of course, the Blueberry Festival would not have been complete without a blueberry pie-eating contest. The competition drew school-age and adult contestants and a crowd of observers.