(2nd in a series of posts on Christmas lights)
Stephen Antalics is Gadfly #1.
There are two versions of history, the revised and the real. The original Christmas lights were not about the holiday. The holiday was a powerful vehicle used by Vernon Melhado and Mrs Grace to try to unite both of the mutually antagonistic sides of the city. It was a device for social unification aided by the holiday celebration. Bethlehem is now “The Christmas City,” the city of brotherly love. The holiday became the vehicle. Equal lighting on both sides of the river, a symbol of unity. The only white lights were in the Moravian building windows on Church St. and the large composite trees located at the roundabout at the end of the Hill to Hill bridge. (There was no 378 then). The new lighting system MUST preserve that original intent of the lights reflecting a unified city and with the Lehigh River not again becoming the Social Iron Curtain of Bethlehem!!