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PeepsFest will ring in the New Year in South Side Bethlehem

By , - Last modified: December 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM
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Celebrating its fifth year, Just Born Inc.'s PeepsFest at Bethlehem's SteelStacks will feature live penguins, sled dogs and several free family-fun activities on Dec. 30-31.

PeepsFest offers families two days packed with live music, art and Peeps-related programming at four SteelStacks locations—the ArtsQuest Center, Levitt Pavilion, Visitor Center and PBS39 Public Media and Education Center—making it the largest celebration in the festival's history.

The event culminates at 5:15 Dec. 31 with the dropping of a 4.5-foot, 85-pound lit Peeps Chick, along with a panoply of fireworks, to ring in the New Year.

The popular Peeps Diorama Competition featuring more than 100 dioramas created by area schoolchildren will be held this year at the PBS39 Education Center. There, all of the dioramas will be on display with, a winner announced at 3 p.m. Dec. 30. The grand-prize winner will be invited to help drop the Peeps Chick on New Year's Eve.

Among many new attractions for 2013 are PBS39 TV Studio Tours, a life-sized Coca Cola Ski Chalet made out of 12 packs with a Peep-ified roof, Lehigh Valley Zoo animals including South African penguins, Dutch Springs' dog-sled team, Allentown Symphony Hall's instrument instruction and other crafts and activities provided by many nonprofit organizations.

The New Year's Eve party will include live music by kid-friendly rock band Starfish at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks at 4 p.m. Dec. 31.

Other festival highlights include:

  • Family musicians and children's performers all day at the ArtsQuest Center (free).
  • Peeps-themed arts and crafts, video game competitions, expanded Peeps scavenger hunt and other fun activities (free).
  • Tours of the PBS39 TV Studios & Hula Hoops Contest – new for 2013 (free).
  • Coca-Cola Ski Chalet and life-size Coca-Cola Polar Bear made out of Peeps – new for 2013.
  • SteelStacks' blast furnaces illuminated with yellow lights – new for 2013.
  • Picture taking with Peeps Chick, Elmo, TeleBear, Coca-Cola Polar Bear and other mascots – new for 2013.
  • Family Disco Lounge – featuring Rolie Polie Guacamole (Dec. 30) and We Kids Rock (Dec. 31), as well as a family-friendly disc jockey, bounce house, balloon art and more ($5 admission for ages 17 and under; free for adults).
  • PeepsFest 5K and Kids Fun Run, Dec. 31, 12:15 p.m. (registration fee required).
  • Mascot Dash, featuring popular area mascots, Dec. 31 at noon.
  • PeepsMobile and Peeps Ice Sculpture on the town square.
  • Peeps s'mores for sale to roast on outdoor fire pits.
  • Popular Peeps & Co. store items for sale.

PeepsFest is a great way for families to bring in the New Year. With many different events and activities for all ages, it's surely going to be an exciting event in the Bethlehem community.

PeepsFest is presented by Just Born Quality Confections and ArtsQuest.

Festival hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 30 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 31.

Admission is free, although a few activities require an admission ticket.

For more information, visit www.artsquest.org/peepsfest or call 610-332-3378.

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Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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