New Year’s Eve in Bethlehem, PA is celebrated with fireworks every year. The nice thing about this celebration is that the fireworks in Bethlehem are offered twice so that young children (or tired adults!) don’t have to wait until midnight to see the show. The New Year’s Eve fireworks are in conjunction with First Night Bethlehem, a huge citywide celebration with all sorts of live entertainment, and the first ever Peeps® Fest, a celebration of all things Peeps® from Just Born.
The First Night fireworks in Bethlehem, PA are on December 31st, 2009 at two times: 5:45pm and Midnight.
The show at Midnight is bigger and follows the dropping of the giant Peep at Payrow Plaza outside the Bethlehem Library, but the earlier show is certainly fun, and my kids enjoy it every year.
There are many places to view the fireworks (including my backyard-but I’m not giving away that secret!), but the Payrow Plaza is probably the most crowded, due to the First Night Bethlehem celebration and the dropping of the giant Peep at midnight. Some great viewing spots include:
The Hill-to-Hill Bridge
This bridge is part of route 378 and goes over the Lehigh River. It is lit with Bethlehem’s famous miniature Christmas trees and is a beautiful spot to view the New Year’s Eve fireworks. The bridge has a pedestrian lane on both sides and can be accessed from sidewalks on the South side and the North side, as well as stairs from underneath on the North side next to Spring Street and the Christkindlmarkt tents, where Peeps® Fest is located. The Main Street exit of the bridge also has a sidewalk and offers an excellent view of the First Night fireworks. Simply walk to the end of Main Street where it dead-ends into Church Street and walk up the sidewalk of the ramp.
The New St./Fahy Bridge
This bridge parallels the Hill-to-Hill Bridge and can be seen directly below Payrow Plaza and the library. A pedestrian walk is only available on the East side of this bridge, but again offers a great view of the fireworks and the Lehigh River. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of the Peep drop above at the Plaza.
The Lawn in Front of Peeps® Fest
In front of the tents that house both Christkindlmarkt and Peeps® Fest is a large lawn across Spring Street. While it’s admittedly cold outside this time of year, the lawn offers a great view of the fireworks. Bring a warm blanket and some hot cocoa and spread out here to watch the show.
This beautiful campus is spread out over South Mountain, which overlooks downtown Bethlehem. There are several lookout spots on the mountain that offer a spectacular view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Bethlehem. And since most of the students are home on break, it’s not too crowded.