On October 26th, the SouthSide Arts District, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing South Bethlehem and making sure it has a vibrant future, hosted its Fall for The SouthSide event for the Lehigh community. Attendees were able to really get a sense of what the South Side restaurants have to offer. (Samantha Gentile/B&W Staff)

Fall for the SouthSide event encourages community engagement

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The SouthSide Arts District, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing South Bethlehem for a vibrant future, hosted its Fall for the SouthSide community event on Saturday, Oct. 26. 

“(Fall for the SouthSide) is kind of the ‘best of the best’ to really get a sense of what the South Side restaurants have to offer,” SouthSide Arts District Manager Missy Hartney said. 

The event was held in different locations around South Bethlehem and showcased more than 19 different local bars, restaurants and shops. The family-friendly event also hosted artists and activities.

Attendees were able to purchase a “passport,” which gave them access to 10 free food and drink samples throughout South Bethlehem. There were 25 different options that could be mixed and matched to personal preference. Participants could enjoy anything from flan from El Jefe’s, ginger garlic cream cheese wontons from Jenny’s Kuali or mimosas from Roasted.

In addition to the food, anyone older than 21 years old could enjoy selections from local wineries and breweries in the event’s beer garden.

Local musicians entertained throughout the day, and the event also featured businesses just starting out in the Lehigh Valley.

“We are a new business,” said Ian Mondrick, manager of Colony Meadery in Bethlehem. “Having people stop by to check us out is essential for us.” 

Mondrick said the foot traffic from the event will help spread the word about his new business. 

One event, “Pumpkin Chunkin’,” had participants use a trebuchet to launch pumpkins into the air.

“It is really neat for (the kids) to explore, see the city and see all the stores and shops in the area,” Heidi Hughes, a local mother of two, said. 

Local partners, such as the Banana Factory and the Bethlehem library, contributed arts and crafts opportunities as well as scary stories for children.  

A space was also provided for artists and shops to showcase and sell work. 

“I think this event brings together people who wouldn’t normally make their way over to this side of the bridge,” said Aly Haskins, owner of ArtNCraft Parties by Aly. “I get to meet new people, introduce myself and my business, and be a part of the community.” 

SouthSide Arts District hosts four passport events each year, including its annual “Spring on the SouthSide Event,” dedicated to revitalizing the South Side.

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