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Bethlehem festival enters 31st year

By , - Last modified: July 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

It's finally here!

One of the most anticipated festivals of the year in eastern Pennsylvania kicks off Friday and will fill Bethlehem with local, regional and national musical acts, thousands of visitors and a variety of food, arts and craft vendors.

Each year, the festival, which is entering its 31st season, attracts about 1 million visitors, stimulating the local economy and providing endless entertainment for all walks of life.

Known as the largest free music festival in the nation, Musikfest is 10 days of great, live music on 14 stages throughout Bethlehem’s historic district and the SteelStacks arts campus. From the opening note to the closing act, more than 500 free performances will take place in the city’s streets, parks, plazas and historic areas.

The Sands Steel Stage will offer musical entertainment from national, touring bands and is the only ticketed venue during the festival.

And if the music isn’t enough, the festival also features 60 vendors offering a variety of eats, 45 top artisans, children’s activities, a fabulous firework display and much more.

And if you’re having trouble navigating the city, there’s an app for that.

Available for IOS devices (Apple), the Musikfest app includes complete artist bios for more than 300 performers; the ability to search more than 500 performances by day and venue; festival maps for stages, food and beverage vendors, retailers and artisans; detailed information on more than 100 food vendors, retailers and artisans with the ability to search by name or alphabetical listing; contests, promotions and discounts; and the “I Just Filled My Mug” function that allows Musikfest goers to share with their Facebook and Twitter friends. And, of course, it offers general festival information, including parking, rules, Musikfestivities, kids activities, member benefits, volunteers, VIP opportunities, hotels and the history of Musikfest.

Registered Musikfest app users also have the ability to create and share their customized schedule with other Musikfest app users.

This festival highlights not only the talent in the Greater Lehigh Valley, but it brings together members of the local and surrounding communities to interact and share a common interest.

Regardless of your musical and food preferences, there’s surely something at Musikfest to suit your tastes.

Headlining the Sands Steel Stage this year:

The full list of performers and schedules for the 10 days can be found here.

*Full disclosure: My band, The Boiled Owls, will be performing at Musikfest on Wednesday, Aug. 6, from 5-8 p.m. on the Metro Beauty Academy Main Street stage.

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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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