It’s Christmas in July in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The summer of 2021 is seeing an unexpected trend, the rise of “Summer Christmas.” Christmas in July has long been a tongue-in-cheek celebration, and the town of Bethlehem is known for going all-out during the holidays (and with its name, how could it not?). Visitors can expect a full-blown holiday extravaganza running from July 1-25. During that period, all the shops in the historic downtown area will be decked out with exciting window displays. Some will decorate in a traditional style, and others are expected to incorporate the event’s unique timing, creating some wonderfully creative scenes! Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites throughout the month.

Here’s a list of other activities going on throughout the month: 

The Snowball Scramble
The Snowball Scramble is a festive new event. Players will download a Snowball Scramble Card from the Downtown Bethlehem Association website. Then, they’ll explore the Historic District to find letters hidden in merchants’ windows. They’ll unscramble the letters to reveal a special holiday message. Entrants who get it right earn a chance to win a downtown Bethlehem gift certificate. 

Selfie with an Elfie
Those Christmas City Elves are back and, as always, their antics are likely to land them on the naughty list. Find those mischievous elves hidden in shops and restaurants all over town. When you take a selfie with one and upload it to social media using #SelfieWithAnElfie, you’ll be entered to win a downtown Bethlehem gift certificate. You can enter as many times as you’d like. The more elves you find, the better your chances of winning.

Fest of The Seven Fishes
This three-day event celebrates the popular Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas tradition. From July 22-July 24, participating Downtown Bethlehem restaurants will offer special seafood dishes. The special menu offerings will be posted on the Historic Downtown Bethlehem website. On July 24th, some restaurants will offer an extra touch of festive fun. They’ll offer additional grab-and-go items so you can enjoy your feast while you stroll through town enjoying the window displays.

Gift Card Flash Sale
On July 24 & July 25, Historic Downtown Bethlehem and the Southside Arts District will host a gift card flash sale for special deals at local businesses. The sale link will be posted at GetDowntownBethlehem.com.


Bethlehem makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway from Philadelphia. For other great Philly day trips, check out our article here

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