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Morning Call: Big changes for parking at this year’s Blueberry Festival

July 9th, 2019 |

Written by Jennifer Sheehan for The Morning Call

Few events are sweeter than Bethlehem’s annual Blueberry Festival.

The two-day event, held at the city’s historic Burnside Plantation, features a host of delicious blueberry foods and drinks to enjoy, as well as pie-eating competitions, fun activities for kids, live music and more.

But there are some significant changes to parking this year that you’ll want to be aware of as you plan to attend the event, which will be held July 20 and 21.

For years, you could park in the lot at Martin Tower and walk down the path to the festival. Martin Tower, the former Bethlehem Steel’s world headquarters, was imploded on May 19 and the property is off-limits due to safety.

Bethlehem's Blueberry Festival parking changes
Bethlehem’s Blueberry Festival parking changes

“Now that we no longer have the Martin Tower lot, we will be directing festival-goers to park at the Westgate Mall at the former Bon-Ton parking lot at Schoenersville Road and Westgate Drive,” said Charlene Donchez Mowers, president of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites, which organizes the annual event. “We will have free shuttle buses running all day both days.”

Mowers said there will be a tent with a Blueberry Festival banner in the parking lot with chairs for those who are waiting. Guides in costume will be on the buses to give highlights of the festival and an overview of Burnside Plantation.

Note: No pets on the shuttle buses.

For those with handicapped license plates or hang-tags, there will be spaces at the Moravian College “X-lot” at 1150 Mauch Chunk Road, and a free shuttle to Burnside.

You can also bike or walk to the festival. Burnside is roughly the halfway point of the Monocacy Way trail. The entrance to the trail is on West Union Boulevard, adjacent to the Route 378 North entrance ramp. This path is for the physically fit and takes seven to 10 minutes by foot from Union Boulevard. Dog owners are encouraged to use the walking path to the festival. There is also a city parking lot at 121 W. Union Blvd.

More on the trail:

There will be a lower entrance at Burnside for walkers, an entrance for those coming on the shuttle buses and an entrance at the Monocacy Way Trail. Signs will direct people.

Another option: There will be a special Uber/Lyft drop-off location at St. Luke’s Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center, 1441 Schoenersville Road, a short walk from the Burnside entrance. Attendees can then walk down the gravel path and head left at the fork for festival entry through the lower entrance. This is another option for dog owners.

Blueberry Festival is a summer tradition more than three decades old. In addition to blueberry foods, there’s plenty of family fun for kids, including pony rides, a petting zoo, games, activities, kids crafts in the Kid’s Club Tent, and Colonial games and dress-up.

For adults, there’s the popular Blueberry Brewery Tent, featuring samples of local craft beer, mead, wine and more.

Admission is $5 for kids; $10 for adults. Online-only admission specials include: $25 for a Family Pass that admits two adults and up to four kids, $22 for the Adult Brewery Combo and a variety of dessert combo passes to take home a festival treat at a discounted price.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 21.

For information, call 800-360-8687 or visit:

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