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Musikfest, good food, and Valley's downtowns

August 22nd, 2007 |

The Morning Call – Donald P. Russo – August 4, 2007
Allentown continues to lag somewhat. There are, however, several bright spots, and I believe that Allentown can be turned around as Easton and Bethlehem are. The Fegley family, for example, has done a noteworthy job building the Allentown Brew Works. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and it simply has to be seen to be believed. There are three huge floors, and each floor is more gorgeous than the next. One can only hope that enough people can be drawn into downtown Allentown to make this place a success. The Bethlehem Brew Works, owned by the same family, is a smashing success. However, downtown Bethlehem and downtown Allentown are two very different places. The formula for success at in downtown Bethlehem may in fact be quite dissimilar to the formula for success in downtown Allentown.
I wish the Fegleys the best of good fortune and good luck in their heroic effort to make downtown Allentown a fun place to be. When it is all said and done, as Bethlehem people become grumpy while enduring Musikfest for yet another year, I hope they can grin and bear it for long enough to realize that Musikfest helps to bolster the notion that Bethlehem is a cutting-edge place to live and to do business. The development of the suburbs is ongoing, but all of the suburban areas in the Lehigh Valley continue to rely upon Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton as their lifeblood for future growth and development. The suburbs, standing alone, won’t do it when it comes to revitalizing a community. Our downtown areas are anchors, and we have to support them with our money and our presence, if the Lehigh Valley is to reach its full potential as a great place to live.


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