By Justice Davis
Not Jerusalem, lowly Bethlehem,” rang through the Moravian chorus on Christmas Eve of 1741, the night the town’s name was christened. The hymn flowed from Monocacy Creek down the Lehigh River, marking the new settlement as the country’s true Christmas City.
A borough called Nazareth sits north of the city lines, creating an unmatched Biblical significance. Over the horizon, South Mountain holds a 79-year-old symbolic star shining above streetlights and treetops. The 91-foot-tall star illuminates the skyline, guiding everyone to the town with its light. This historic symbol is framed with steel from the former Bethlehem Steel Corporation that was located in the downtown area. Once known as the nation’s second largest steel manufacturer, this company forged the foundations of the city. Today, the company’s ten-acre campus, called SteelStacks, has been reborn through art, culture and music with iconic structures still towering over the land.
The historic landmark city is loved by its res- idents. Hormel Foods employee Devin Kasper praises the city, “Downtown Bethlehem is one of the nicest downtowns I’ve ever seen. It’s beautiful.” Kasper moved to the Lehigh Valley to work as the east coast pricing analyst, and is attracted to the local restaurants and businesses which make up the bloodline of the city.
The Small-Town Vibe
While only 75,000 of the Lehigh Valley’s 820,000 residents live in Bethlehem, it is the heart of the region, connecting the cities of Allentown and Easton. This location of the Hormel Foods sales office gives employees the opportunity to participate in all of the area’s festivities. With 10 major festivals and over 150 mini-festivals throughout the year, local entertainment and culture create a fulfilling climate for all to enjoy. “
Bethlehem has a small-town vibe with rich history and bigger dreams. Category development analyst Elizabeth Northrup loves its central location, not far from cities like Philadelphia and New York. “Bethlehem has a lot of history and character, and the location allows you to easily travel to major cities on the east coast.”
In the Community
The employees in the Bethlehem sales office pride themselves on giving back throughout the Lehigh Valley. Under the leadership of customer business manager Joseph O’Connor, the team has grown a partnership with Safe Harbor Easton, a shelter focusing on empowerment and education for homeless men and women. Other community activities the employees participate in include feeding families at the Ronald McDonald Houses of Philadelphia and NYC and volunteering with the Lehigh Valley’s Salvation Army. The Bethlehem sales office is also a proud member of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
From its infrastructure to its people, Bethlehem can embrace you with its charm. The beauty of the town may go unnoticed standing in the shadows of Philly and NYC, but once you taste its glamour, the city’s allure is never unfamiliar. Bethlehem’s glow is cast from the historical chronicles of its past, but is energized by the people who love to call it home today.