PEEPSFEST returns to Bethlehem for 11th year of festivities

Written by on December 28, 2019

PEEPSFEST returns to Bethlehem for 11th year of festivities

By Jen Rehill

The Lehigh Valley will mark New Year’s Eve in a local take on the famous Times Square ceremony. It’s a family affair, so instead of a jeweled ball dropping at midnight… a 400-pound Peeps chick descends from a former Bethlehem Steel blast furnace… and it all happens before sunset. It’s the highlight of PEEPSFEST – a free, two-day celebration that takes place in part at the Lehigh Valley Public Media Center in SteelStacks.

PEEPSFEST brings together the history of the Lehigh Valley in a way that only makes sense in the Bethlehem — a mashup of marshmallow and steel.

“It’s really this great way to bring families together for the New Year. The whole thing is designed to focus on families with hands on activities to welcome in the New Year,” said Mark Demko, communications director for ArtsQuest, which organizes the event with Peeps maker Just Born Quality Confections.

Now in its 11th year, Demko said PEEPSFEST typically draws 10,000 to 12,000 people. Festival activities include live music, crafts, science experiments, a scavenger hunt, and a Peeps Diorama competition with a sweet top prize.

“It’s a scholastic diorama competition where we have people entering from all different age groups and whoever wins the dc gets to come up and drop the giant chick on New Year’s Eve,” explained Just Born Corporate Affairs Manager Meg Dowd. 

Just Born provides the Peeps, and Mark Demko said the contest was designed to engage with local schools – as children create displays tied to what they’re learning in the classroom, “Students make these incredible works of art and then they all are put on display at PBS. And you can come here and walk through the building on December 30th and 31st and you will literally see 100 to 200 works of art created by area school students.”

Winning displays from last year’s contest included the “12 Days of PEEPSmas,” “Aztec PEEPle”  and the “2019 PEEPS Drop.”

PEEPSFEST takes place Monday and Tuesday, January 30 and 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. Find more information and a complete schedule at the official PEEPSFEST website.


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