The proposed Christmas light scheme: “The design was very festive” (4)

(4th in a series of posts on Christmas lights)

Barbara Diamond enjoys retirement as Lehigh University Director of Foundation Relations by engaging in various activities and organizations hopefully for the betterment of the community. Her particular interests at the moment are preventing gun violence, local government ethics reform, and Bethlehem Democratic Committee work.

Dear Gadfly,
I walked over this afternoon to view the photo facsimiles of what the decorations would look like. The plan proposes unified decorations on the major gateways to the city (Rt. 378, New St Bridge, 5 Points, 4th Street) , Main Street, and a focus on Payrow Plaza. The proposed decorations have a consistent theme of garlands with multicolored lights and a central white star. There are different iterations of this along with trees wrapped in lights and the rotunda and library wrapped in lights and snowflakes projected on the plaza pavement and walls of the plaza buildings “painted” in projected light, along with the tree & creche.The design was very festive, and I can imagine that it would enhance downtown Bethlehem for the Christmas season as a destination benefiting our downtown merchants. Not sure what the cost is of all of this, so that is a different discussion. Interestingly, the design included some giant candles where the menorah usually is situated. I asked the designer, David Wiener, where they planned to put the menorah, and he said that no one had mentioned a menorah to him so he planned to follow-up with that.


Thanks, Barbara. Hey, Judy, did you get to go? Your email is not working for me.

2 thoughts on “The proposed Christmas light scheme: “The design was very festive” (4)

  1. I only saw the images via an article on LehighValleyLive, and while I think some of the proposed designs are somewhat attractive, they don’t seem very imaginative or creative—and I’d describe some of them as almost gaudy.

    They might have gotten much better results at a much lower cost by soliciting local ideas—including from students. At the end, I have to ask whether this is an appropriate use of city money & time.

  2. Barbara, yes I did go!

    I agree with Barbara – it was very festive and cheery. I particularly liked the proposed placement of oversized Bethlehem stars at Five Points and elsewhere. I was relieved to see that the iconic 4 advent candles were still featured and I appreciated the designer’s attention to the original Christmas designs from the 20s and 30s.

    Across the Fahy bridge, the design shows colored lights leading north and then switching to white lights as the lights cross the bridge. This is unfortunate and, as I said in my notes on the design, does not provide the unity that they planned for.

    All in all though, a very nice design, sensitive to Bethlehem and the commercial value of the season to the city.

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